Pokémon Go - How Religious Can an Augmented Reality Hunt Be?

  • Sonja Gabriel (Author)
    KPH Vienna/Krems Vienna


This article deals with the Augmented Reality (AR) smartphone game Pokémon Go which caused a hype among players in summer 2016. The author shows by citing results of an extensive online media search that various churches and religious communities reacted to the game, either praising or condemning it. In the beginning, the article will discuss the origin of the Pokémon series, showing that there are some parallels to Shintoism. When having a look at public reports about the game, it can be seen that some churches tried to profit from the AR game hype whereas others regard playing the game as blasphemous. Examples of both categories will be discussed. Players, however, have their own opinion about the game and so some communities have developed dealing with Pokémon Go as kind
of religion of its own. Finally, the term techno-animism, its roots and consequences will be introduced.


Augmented reality, religion, game, techno-animism