Children are experts in Pokémon but not in biodiversity. As the fall season approaches, and as new game characters arrive in September, we find that they know better Dracofeu and Pikachu when they are unable to recognize a tit or a bullfinch.
The phenomenon Pokémon GO has invaded the world a few years ago but it is still as topical. Thanks to this application, downloaded more than a billion times, young (and not so young) can in "augmented reality" capture their favorite Pokémon: Pikachus, Mew-two, Draco and other Evolis ... and it is a disaster both cultural and ecological.
First of all, this application locks us into a virtual world with Pokémon that obviously do not exist in real life; but the real tragedy is that playing on your phone does not even pay attention to the biodiversity that surrounds us! Thus, millions of people between 17 and 30 years old and beyond know the name of these 800 virtual creatures on their fingertips, but are unable to tell the difference between a swallow and a martinet, differentiate a seagull from a seagull, a maple leaf from an oak leaf ...
We could easily refute Fanny Agostini's argument and tell her that video games and knowledge of nature are not incompatible ... but we would be blind if we denied the terrifying break that we are currently experiencing with the physical world that calls into question our ability to protect the biodiversity that is wasting away at the same rate as the lack of interest in it.
The problem does not end there, since Pokémon GO data, like any other connected application, is stored in data centers on the other side of the world. These data centers must be constantly ventilated to function normally, and are extremely voracious in terms of energy: they use more than 10% of the world's electricity! A single data center is as energy-hungry as a city of 100,000 people; this is called "digital pollution".
It is not uncommon to meet motorists who try to catch Pokémon while driving on the roads in the middle of the night! In addition to being a danger, do you imagine the cumulative carbon impact that it represents, just to run after virtual pseudo-animals? A real ecological disaster ...
The real world around us is even more impressive, dense and magical than any image on screen. There is no Manglouton when leaving home, but martens. There is no Insect or Hootoot, but praying mantises and owls. This is the true "augmented reality", the one we can see, touch and feel.
Equip us with a pair of binoculars and let go of our smartphones from time to time!
Otherwise there is an application called INPN Species, developed by the National Museum of Natural History, which allows you to take pictures of animals and tells you about their name and ecology, just like the Pokédex with Pokémon GO, but this time with real animals!