12 Jul Augmented Reality
Lather, Rinse, Repeat. We’ve all heard this. We’ve all read this. Though, for the life of me, I do not know why we all read the back of the shampoo bottle. Are we that bored while taking a shower? I guess it’s our desire to quench our thirst for knowledge. Like when one of my sons asked as a child if shampoo as a compound word. Or maybe it just stems from growing up reading cereal boxes—back in the good ole days when you didn’t need to take out a short-term loan to buy cereal. Nonetheless, you can imagine my surprise when I recently read an article that undermined a lifelong beauty ritual of mine and advocated to condition your hair before the lather, rinse, repeat loop. BEFORE! I think even Elle Woods would object to such blasphemy since she taught us all that “The rules of hair care are simple and finite. Any Cosmo girl would have known.” Alas, I did not. But, I do read more Seth Godin than Cosmo these days, so I’ll blame Seth. (Bald may be beautiful, but I think we can all agree that it doesn’t make you a haircare expert.) This is an instance of what my old friend Jack and I would call a quadradigm shift. It’s like a paradigm shift only the change in your usual way of thinking has double the impact; thus a quadradigm. (I think it’s in the blog writer’s code that you’re allowed to make up new words when the millions that already exist just won’t do.)
When you live in a house filled with boys, like I do, there are lots of paradigm shifts. When you live in a house filled with teenagers, like I do, there are quadradigm shifts! My reality is that there are tribes of teenagers in our home and wiping out our pantry at any given time. Proximity to said teenagers will actually force one who is say, generationally mature, to be open to things such as conditioning first, making up new words, and playing Pokémon GO. If you’re not familiar with this new game, you may be living under a rock. This is ironic, because the launch of Pokémon GO this past week got video-gamers of all ages to get out from under their rocks (aka basements) and off of their futons to literally, wait for it—go outside. I know, the horror! If you’ve seen crowds of cell-phone-staring, distracted people congregating in public spaces lately, you’re witnessing what computer programmers call augmented reality.
So, there’s reality: Me driving to work, pulling into the parking lot by the Paws for Thought Garfield Garden, and striving to make Grant County a great county at the Community Foundation.
Then, there’s augmented reality. Me driving to work, pulling into the parking lot by the Paws for Thought Garfield Garden, and striving to make Grant County a great county at the Community Foundation—then realizing I work at a Pokéstop!
Apparently, due to the ginormous fan-following of videogamers, the Community Foundation can expect to see a lot more people hanging out at Garfield Garden simply because our Pokéstop can provide them with free items that will help them in their Pokémon GO gaming adventure. Go figure, without even knowing it, we have helped augment someone’s reality just by meeting the criteria of “A location with a cool story, a place in history or educational value.”
It all seems rather silly doesn’t it? People driving, walking, and running around in their real world simply to catch an animated Pokemon in their augmented world. Has the world gone mad? Perhaps. That may be exactly why so many people are escaping reality with this augmented reality game. Think about the events of the past week, month, or year. Heck, just reading something about the upcoming presidential election will make even the most hopeful person want to bury their hand in the sand—on in a virtual computer game. Why? Because real life is hard. No wonder people are searching for a distraction to augment their reality. Main stream media has shown us a lot of name-calling, hated, and death recently. Social media has show us a lot of thoughtless opinions, unfriending, and division. When you think about it, it makes me want to augment my reality, too. So, why don’t we do just that?
Merriam-Webster defines augment in this way: ‘To add something in order to improve or complete it’. Sounds good to me…let’s do it! Where there is darkness, even a small glimpse of light can guide us. Where there is hate, random acts of kindess show love. Where there is despair, hope brings forth life. I saw a living example of this as I took a walk with a friend downtown last week. Smack dab in the middle of the sidewalk were three beautiful petunias. In the midst of rock-hard concrete, a seedling from another planter found its way through wind and sun and rain. And, like a miracle, just where you would think beauty would be lost, it was found.
Take that natural example and give it hands and feet and you have our donors. One came in today with a donation for the Law Enforcement Safety Fund. The reality of what we’ve been seeing our local law enforcement officers go through recently is a harsh reality. This donation was something one donor did to improve the situation. When the reality of what’s going on in the world seems harsh, you can augment it. You know how it works. Glass half full. Make lemonade. Be the change you want to see in the world. In other words, augment reality.
Pokémon GO may be a good augmented reality game, but the Community Foundation is a great place to augment reality. It might be a quadradigm shift, but it’s definitely worth trying…and repeating.