German filmmaker Werner Herzog was once described by François Truffaut as "the most important film director alive," and given how busy the 73-year-old is, its unsurprising that he doesn't have much time for everyone's favorite game to love or hate, Pokemon Go.
But that doesn't mean that the man Time magazine has called "one of the most influential people in the world" doesn't have any questions about the game. After all, you don't make Fitzcarraldo, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, AND Grizzly Man if you're not a curious guy, right?
And during a wide-ranging interview with The Verge's Emily Yoshida, he got to ask those questions...but seemed unsatisfied with the answers. You should really go read the whole thing, but here's the Pokemon exchange, which as a Go-agnostic person I find absolutely delightful:
Yoshida: 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?
It's basically the first mainstream augmented reality program. It's a game where the entire world is mapped and you walk around with the GPS on your phone. 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.
Well, it's been interesting because there are all these anecdotes of people who are playing the game, and they've never met their neighbors, for instance. And when they go outside to look for pokémon they realize they're playing the same game, and start talking to each other.
You'd have to give me a cell phone, which I'm not going to use anyway, and I have no clue what's going on there, but I don't need to play the game.
No, I think it's plenty to read about it... in the end, it does seem to be evidence of how easy it is for people to accept AR into their lives, as opposed to VR.
Yeah, but these things are very ephemeral, they come and go.