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Bicol, P. O. S. (2017). Trending, Set, GO!: Analyzing User Perception and Motivation on Location-Aware Content with Pokémon GO as Case, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines, College of Mass Communication Pokémon GO is a free to play, augmented reality application for smartphones where players catch Pocket Monsters – or Pokémon – in the real world, in real-time using location tracking technology to determine the player’s location anywhere in the world. To play the game, however, an internet connection is required. Despite this issue of accessibility – especially in the Philippines – the application has become the most downloaded in recent history, have millions of users worldwide, and topped in-game purchase charts for weeks. The application gave the Pokémon franchise the push it needed to break out of the niche it occupies in pop culture, making significantly more people engage in it. This study looks into user reception on Pokémon GO as location-aware content using de Souza’s concept of Net Localities and Hybrid Spaces, and user motivations using Blumler and Katz’ Uses and Gratifications Theory. Based on the results of the study, Pokémon GO is not a perfect execution of de Souza’s Net Locality due to technological limitations. Furthermore, users were no longer motivated into playing the game after the hype receded due to access issues, delayed feature implementations and unmet expectations of a genuine Pokémon experience.

Ang Pokémon GO ay isang libreng smartphone application na may halong augmented reality kung saan huhuli ang mga manlalaro nito ng mga Pocket Monsters – o Pokémon – sa pisikal na mundo gamit ang teknolohiyang tumutukoy ng iyong lokasyon. Upang malaro ito, kinakailangan nito ang koneksyon sa Internet. Kahit na may balakid sa paggamit nito – lalo na sa Pilipinas – ang application na ito ang pinaka-tinangkilik sa loob ng maikling panahon. Binigyan nito ang Pokémon sa kabuuan ng kinailangan nitong tulak upang kumawala sa niche nito sa popular na kultura, kung saan mas dumami pa ang tumangkilik dito. Tinatalakay ng pag-aaral na ito ang user reception ng mga naglaro ng nasabing laro bilang location-aware na content gamit ang konsepto ni de Souza ng Hybrid Spaces at Net Localities, at sa motibasyon ng user gamit ang Uses and Gratifications Theory nina Blumler at Katz (1974). Base sa resulta ng pag-aaral na ito, ang Pokémon GO ay hindi isang perpektong eksekusyon ng konsepto ni de Souza ng isang Net Locality dahil sa limitasyon sa teknolohiya. Dagdag dito, hindi na na-engganyo ang mga manlalaro nito na maglaro dahil sa mga kailangan upang magamit ito, mga hindi pa nailalabas na features, at dahil sa hindi naisakatuparang pangako ng makatotohanang Pokémon experience.

Keywords Pokémon GO, User Reception, User Motivation, Interactivity, Net Localities, Hybrid Spaces

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