AR Scanning in Pokémon GO by G2G Media
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AR Scanning in Pokémon GO

To AR Scan or not to AR Scan, that is our question. Perhaps, it’s your question too. I think to answer it first we have to ask, “How many people play in AR mode and am I one of those people?” Answering that question will help answer whether or not scanning pertains to you.

AR Scanning (Augmented Reality Scanning) has been an insanely hot topic in Pokémon GO ever since the announcement was made approximately one year ago. This article isn’t here to tell you whether or not you should or shouldn’t do scans, but only to shed some light on what if’s and what could be’s because of AR Scans. For some, AR is life! It’s the ultimate blend of the digital world and reality. And…it’s their belief, their hope, that it’s only going to get better.

“Oh Hell No”

Before we get into the what if’s, let’s talk about some of the hesitancies the Community has voiced since the announcement. 

Scanning Could Remove a Stop

Let’s take a moment and imagine Niantic isn’t only out to get us and our money. It’s ok, I know for most conspiracy theorist this could take some time so, I’ll wait. Moving on. There have been many voicing their concern that Niantic is using this method to determine whether a POI is legitimate based on their criteria. Valid concern, but is it true? We’ll address it later.

“I’m not working for free”

Go out. Open the game. Find a stop. Pick up an AR Scanning task. Start scanning, remember to upload when on WiFi if you don’t have an unlimited data account. Reap the crappy ass reward. 

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m one of these individuals. That’s a whole lot of work for a crummy Poffin. If I’m going out to play Pokémon GO, I’m not going to spend my time awkwardly scanning a church stop, we’ve got a lotta them here in the south, when I can be grinding, raiding, or hanging out with my people. If you think about it though, aren’t we already working for Niantic in creating POIs (PokéStops and Gyms) to which their games and map rely on?

We’re Building Their Map to Make More Money

“Seriously, they’re a BILLION dollar company, and they are going to make BILLIONS MORE selling this map, why don’t they just hire someone to go out and do it?” Ok, this is a little unreasonable considering there are POIs all over the world and it makes more sense for those who live around specific areas to help out with the scanning, but the least the could do is up the rewards. Entice us to want to help them out for the betterment of the game(s).

What Ifs

Now, on to the fun, speculative part of this article. And we do stress SPECULATIVE. Granted, there is some truth in here and it will definitely be cited with references, notes, yada yada. If you’ve made it this far in the article, I’m sure you will appreciate it and I thank you for your time.

Niantic Removed My Stop Because I AR Scanned it!

No. They removed the stop because it probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place due to it not meeting the criteria listed in their PokéStop Nomination Guide. But, if you need someone to blame, holler at the Wayfinder who approved it. That’s a whole other topic we’ll need to tackle at another time.

Really though, Niantic has explicitly stated on their Wayfarer Forum AND their Niantic Support Helpshift page,

“Niantic does not use AR scans to determine whether a PokéStop or Gym should be removed.”

This is some of the truth, less speculative information you will find so, please, do share with your fellow conspiracy theorists.

Pay me for My Work!

Back to the fun one. That was sarcasm. I’m with y’all. I don’t like working for free or for lame ass rewards. However, there are a few things we need to consider here and, perhaps, a few things Niantic needs to consider here as well:

  • BETTER REWARDS: Better rewards are desperately needed to compensate for the time and work spent creating their map. It’s no secret that PGO and its community are the reason this map will be completed, why not do a better job at compensating us with Legendary encounters, Incubators, or hell, Poké Coins? Well, part of this could be due to the fact the system is flawed and people can scan their big toe for a reward. This isn’t anyone in the community’s fault for finding the exploit, just one Niantic should really address. I also mentioned how we are already basically working for them already in submitting and approving PokéStops and Gyms but the difference with those is they are the gift that keeps on giving! Perhaps that’s something that the AR Scanning team should take note of.
  • BETTER COMMUNICATION: If there is anything I’ve pushed for it’s better communication from Niantic to its Trainers. However, as a Trainer, we have to realize there are rules and regulations Niantic must follow as a business and business partner to its many associates. Out of that respect, I can understand where some things should be left to speculation or silent, but there are many areas, where this could be worked on. 
  • BETTER TRANSPARENCY: This is sort of a follow up to communication. To me, and many others, transparency will allow me to make a more educated decision on whether or not I feel as if I am being compensated accordingly, or, being taken advantage of when it comes to helping them with their project. What many of us would like to know is, what is their map going to be used for? Will they profit by selling our work to other companies? We don’t need business-like details, we just want to know if we are working for free or not?

“Their” Map

Now, I know I’ve said “Their” map a couple of times now but, what if you were to take a step back and think of it as “your” map. Something you helped build. That you helped make GREAT! Something that millions of players use from platform to platform and knew it wouldn’t be what it is today without YOU? How does that sound? Sounds pretty amazing to me. So, what if Niantic not only rewarded us for our work but also gave us credit? I mean, that sounds pretty legit. I’d be honored to have my Trainer Name associated with PokéStops or Gyms that I helped create and people from around the world may visit. That’s some serious recognition.

“Well, what about all that money they will make off of this map?” Sure, I won’t ignore that but, they are a business after all and as long as PGO continues to grow and benefit first and foremost from all of the Trainer’s work, I think I’d be ok with that. Hell, what if Niantic found a way for Trainers to make money off their map too? I bet that got your attention. All of that to say, there are no limits to dreams and then they can become a reality an augmented reality. Badum Chhhh. What was the movie quote, “If you build it, they will come.” That’s probably before y’all’s time but it’s true.

The Future is now, Thanks to science

Believe me, I know it’s hard to imagine a final result, an ending point to a project you play, and also help create when you aren’t completely immersed in it day-to-day. However, what if AR Scanning a PokéStop could help create the next step of Pokémon GO. What if YOU are helping take it to the next level so it doesn’t become obsolete when it’s time to evolve. What if YOU, are the reason this game we all know and love is staying alive. Niantic has admitted it wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for PGO and it’s community and that’s a fact!

Take a moment and look back at the original trailer that was released when Pokémon GO was initially announced. Don’t worry, it’s attached below. What if AR Scanning is the next step to getting us closer to THAT?

If that video doesn’t get you pumped, it’s totally ok. The great thing about AR Scanning and AR Mode is they are optional. No one is forcing you to do it.

If living in an augmented reality where you can play and pet your Pokémon isn’t for you, you can continue to play and go about your Pokémon journey as you so please.

If the idea of finding gifts left for you at PokéStops from friends, or leaving a Pokémon to train at the local gym to build up it’s endurance sounds like a dream come true, then I’d say AR Scanning should be on your radar. 

Help us continue to provide quality content and promote creators on Patreon!


Motha of 3 | G2G Media Co-Founder | Designer | Creator | Lvl40 PoGo Player


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