In the few short weeks that Pokemon Go has been available to the general public in North America, it has managed to seep into every corner of pop culture and distract most of the country from important things like “jobs” and “families.” Just like most trends that come out of nowhere and addict people across the nation, it will probably peter out in popularity after only a few weeks longer. Before that happens though, the most unlikely person to comment on Pokemon Go just commented on Pokemon Go.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Verge, acclaimed German director Werner Herzog discussed his upcoming film about technology Lo and Behold as well as his various film classes (one online and an ultra-selective in-person course) and his opinion on the film industry as a whole. But most importantly, and one of the few things Herzog talked about besides film, was his introduction to Nintendo’s AR adaptation of its beloved game and subsequent thoughts on the phenomenon. Each answer is pretty much the most Herzog answer possible.
First came his introduction to the game itself. Herzog notoriously does not use cell phones unless it is an absolute emergency, so this should come as no surprise.
Do you know about Pokémon Go?
I don’t know what Pokémon Go is and what all these things are…
You’re talking to somebody who made his first phone call at age 17. You’re talking to someone who doesn’t have a cell phone, for example, for cultural reasons.
Tell me about Pokémon Go. What is happening on Pokémon Go?
What is happening on Pokemon Go? That’s a great question, and one that even people who are addicted to the game probably can’t answer because they’re so obsessed with gym battles and catching ’em all. Then the interview gets really crazy though, as Herzog imagines a world where Pokemon battles are real and the violence is really real.
…You walk around in the real world and can catch these little monsters and collect them. And everybody is playing it.
Does it tell you you’re here at San Vicente, close to Sunset Boulevard?
Yeah, it’s basically like a Google map.
But what does pokémon do at this corner here.
You might be able to catch some. It’s all completely virtual. It’s very simple, but it’s also an overlay of physically based information that now exists on top of the real world.
When two persons in search of a pokémon clash at the corner of Sunset and San Vicente is there violence? Is there murder?
They do fight, virtually.
Physically, do they fight?
Do they bite each other’s hands? Do they punch each other?
The people or the…
Yes, there must be real people if it’s a real encounter with someone else.
The rest of the interview doesn’t even matter. Werner Herzog The Gawd has given us an idea for a universe where people playing Pokemon actually kick the crap out of each other in honor of their chosen team. Based on the current fervor around the game, if the craziness around it doesn’t end up dying out as quickly as anticipated gym battles between Team Mystic (AKA the greatest team) and Team Valor might turn into actual rumbles.