Pokémon Go and Urban Accessibility
This chapter examines the relationship between disability, mobile technology and gaming, with a specific focus on the augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go. Current research and commentary on the experience people with disabilities have of Pokémon Go and other augmented reality mobile games has focused on either inaccessibility (specific for people with mobility impairments) or the opportunity these games provide as a learning tool, specifically for people with intellectual disabilities and autism. This chapter reviews this commentary, arguing the nature of this game – located both within and outside of the mediated format of gaming – allows for an extended understanding of access. In particular, utilising the social model of disability (Finklesteinm, 1980), we consider how mobile augmented reality games such as Pokémon Go can reveal exclusions in ‘real’ urban space. Connecting with research being undertaken at the University of Bologna by Catia Prandi et. al. (2015), we also consider how future mobile games which similarly utilise mapping could be harnessed to facilitate both more accessible gaming opportunities and understandings of accessible urban space.