Tommy Wilson: New game has an old ring to it

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Natalia Jourdain (left) Vinnie (centre) and Shey McDonald donate toys to Whare Tauranga which is the first stage of Te Tuinga Whanau's Whare 4 Whanau project. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Natalia Jourdain (left) Vinnie (centre) and Shey McDonald donate toys to Whare Tauranga which is the first stage of Te Tuinga Whanau's Whare 4 Whanau project. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

You've got the whole world in your hands, was a huge hit in the '60s and it could be making a comeback.

If you can rewind the memory video back to black and white television of the late '60s and early '70s you will remember not just Glenn Campbell but also Dr Who and the Dalek robots who he battled against to stop them taking over the world.

He was an eccentric chap, this doctor, and the Daleks weren't that cool because they kept bumping into everything on their search for whatever it was they were looking for.

It seems we have a new version of Daleks bumping into everything as they look for the whole world in the palms of their hands, only this time they are of the human variety, following the palms of their hands with their heads down, hoping to capture the cyber characters in a game known as Pokemon Go.

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Pokemon Go is a smartphone app which uses an augmented reality treasure hunt to let players catch Pokemon from their phone as they explore their surroundings.

Trouble is, the captive audience of the fastest growing gaming phenomenon ever will soon be steered toward products and places who have paid big bucks to have their sites programmed into the software.

Now Nintendo, the Japanese company who created Pokemon are cashing in big time and their shares have climbed 86 per cent since last Thursday on the back of Pokemon Go's popularity.

That's almost $15 billion (£11.1 billion) added to the company's market value in a week.
All over town there are Dalek-like robots wandering aimlessly around town, looking about as lost as the characters they are searching for, all truly believing they have the whole world in their hands.

Even our local council candidates are playing a version of Pokemon politics, showing up at strange places and juggling for grid positions in front of potential audiences.

Sadly it seems there is an app for everything and the world will be controlled by imaginary characters that can never be found in real life.

Who would have thought the Rhinestone cowboy Glenn Campbell would have the theme song for what is happening out there in Pokemon lala land with his lyrics "he's got the whole world in his hands"?

Who would have thought the world would come to this back in the days of black and white television?

It sure looks like lala land to me when I see people with smartphones bumping into each other like lost Daleks.

Perhaps it's time to launch my app called a "Joy Chip" - where every time you make someone smile or solicit a laugh you get extra credits added to your Joy Chip and he who makes the most people happy wins.

Sounds simple huh and it costs four fifths other than an attitude adjustment. This is an out there app that can be brought with fun coupons on-line in Kindsville.

This last week my Joy Chip earned maximum credits, firstly up in Kaitaia where I witnessed the opening of He Korowai - a benchmark in emergency housing, championed by a visionary dreamer, Ricky Houghton.

He Korowai is an oasis for those who would never have considered the possibility of having their own whare for their whanau.

It's a model I am very keen to follow down here in the Bay that has plenty more than the poor people up North.

Ricky has just been ordained (by me) as a life member of the Joy Chip club.

You could almost hear the Joy Chips going into overdrive at He Korowai, as they logged up credits in the hearts of people who now have hope for a better life up there in the far north.

Locally there were Joy Chip moments down at Whare Tauranga last week, when caring kids Natalia, Shey and Vinnie showed up with toys, puzzles, a couple of bikes and big buckets of blessings for the families who now reside here.

To see the transformation of the whanau here in Tauranga and up north in Kaitaia by acts of kindness gives me great hope for humanity in these troubled times where terrorism is dished up almost daily across our television screens.

I guess we all have the whole world in our hands, should we choose to let go of the gimmicks in our virtual worlds and face the reality of what is happening in the real world - starting with our own back yards.

Download your Joy Chip whanau and start racking up the credits.

Conatc Tommy: broblack@xtra.co.nz

- Bay of Plenty Times

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