Pokémon GO 2016: Exploring Situational Contexts of Critical Incidents in Augmented Reality

Tuomas Kari


Pokémon GO, an augmented reality mobile game, captured the attention of millions of people around the world in July 2016. Various sources from around the globe have reported both positive and negative incidents and outcomes related to the game. Some of the incidents have been particularly remarkable for the player, i.e., critical incidents. A critical incident is a single experience, which a person perceives or remembers as unusually positive or negative. Critical incidents typically are highly influential for human behaviour, and thus, important to study. Playing augmented reality games can take place in varying situational contexts. Situational context includes information that can be used to characterize the situation of a person, place, or object, and has been shown to be influential in mobile use context. This study investigates in which kinds of situational contexts do critical incidents of augmented reality game Pokémon GO take place. The focus is on four different situational contexts that Pokémon GO can be played in: sociality, interaction state, place, and reasons for playing. The study is based on analysing an online survey sample of 226 responses. The findings pose insights and implications regarding augmented reality applications and games in general, and thus, assist the developers in their efforts to provide the users with meaningful and positive experiences with games and other augmented reality applications.


Augmented reality; Pokémon GO; Mobile gaming; Exergaming; Critical incidents; Situational context

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4101/jvwr.v9i3.7239

The full website for the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research can be found at http://jvwr.net