Pokemon Goes Fascist: How the Government is Weaponizing Our Favorite Tech

by | Mar 14, 2017

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media.


Many in the independent media have commented on what the informed among the American populace are now witnessing: the rise of an American fascist State. Rarely, though, are we provided a glimpse into the inner-workings of the machine.

On Monday, in a piece titled “The Autonomous Future of Warfare Looks a Lot Like Pokemon Go,” WIRED gave readers the chance to meet Will Roper, director of the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO). WIRED describes the man’s job:

“Roper spends his days predicting how war will work in the not-s0-distant future and developing the technological capabilities that will enable the American military to lead the way.”

Continuing, and using the Pokemon Go phenomenon as an example, the magazine’s Issie Lapowsky notes the military’s current dependence on the private technology sector:

“Because Silicon Valley’s companies evolve so much faster than the bureaucracies of Washington can, Roper and the SCO draw inspiration from the private sector picking apart the genius of Pokemon Go.”

Speaking with WIRED’s Nick Thompson at South by Southwest Monday, Roper highlighted the manner in which technological breakthroughs, regardless of intent, can be appropriated for other uses.

“I think they’ve solved one of the toughest challenges for warfare,” Roper said of the designers behind Pokemon Go. “How do you take amazingly complex information and make it so integrated with the person interacting with it?”

The magazine then lays out what the folks at the SCO think the future of warfare will look like:

“Roper envisions a day when soldier will be able to drop a digital marker on the battlefield that future deployments and faraway units could also see, similar to how Pokemon Go enables millions of strangers to spot the same Jigglypuff in the middle of Times Square.”


“Or perhaps augmented-reality advances could help soldiers access a global map of the surrounding area in the lower corner of their field of view, familiar to any fan of first-person shooters like Call of Duty.”

WIRED goes on to describe other SCO projects, such as their development of swarms of micro-UAVs that can communicate and fill gaps when individual units are taken out. But the notion of the military co-opting technology to its own benefit should be news to no one.

The bigger issue here is what Roper discusses next — the true, official, and concrete merger of government and corporations.

Noting that “the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board has sought insight from Silicon Valley since 2015,” WIRED writes that “Roper knows the military needs to work side-by-side with the private sector” as it continues “adopting the best of machine learning capabilities being developed at companies like Google and Facebook.”

Commenting on this tightening bond between corporations and the U.S. government — a bond which, when solidified, lies at the heart of every fascist State — the Pentagon’s Roper says it’s definitely the way to go:

“Once we have those bridges built, we’re going to have to keep them strong and treat them as a strategic resource.”

This is precisely the attitude that leads to outright fascism. And, currently, it seems a pervasive one. Anti-Media and other independent outlets are working to draw attention to the strengthening potentiality of such a nightmare, and will continue to do so.

The race now is to get enough Americans to stand up and take notice before the walls come permanently down.

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