Move over Pokemon Go, Moscow now has its own Discover Moscow Go!

Well, this signifies the end of Pokemon Go in Russia. After much protest from government officials, the Moscow government has come up with its own Discover Moscow Photo app which resembles Pokemon Go and works on the same principle. But the objective of the Russian app is to seek out famous Russian figures instead of running after Pokemons. The city government after the release of the app declared that the Discover Moscow Photo app is an effort to raise awareness among Muscovites about the rich cultural heritage of the city and the country in general. The app is also supposed to encourage the habit of walking among the city’s inhabitants.

Communist MP Vadim Solovyov had recently called for the ban of the Pokemon Go game in Russia echoing the sentiments of other government top honchos who had denounced the app previously. He had compared the game with vices like gambling and drugs. Ruling party MP Yevgeny Fyodorov decried the game publicly stating that Pokemon Go developers could use the game for creating internal disturbances and other such underhand acts to destabilise the government just before the elections. Some of the government officials even went to the extent of dragging the game into religious controversies, with Senator Frants Klintsevich even stating that “the feeling of the Devil” was strong in the game and it could lead to spiritual abandonment. Head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill supported the senator saying that the game “disconnects and demonises a person.”

These officials appeared hypocritical when they all concurred that Augmented Reality was a great way to move ahead technologically, and there was no wrong in using the concept of the game to raise awareness and promote the Muscovian heritage. It is only natural that Russia will react like this to an American made game, but the reality that they are piggybacking on the game’s popularity for their convenience is a little baffling as is proved by the severe criticism of the game publicly.

How does the Discover Moscow Photo app work?

Much like Pokemon Go, this Discover Moscow Photo app is all about scouting the streets in search of a historical figure instead of Pokemons. Some of these figures include the Writer Alexander Pushkin, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the Composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Tsars Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great, and Napoleon Bonaparte, who invaded Moscow in 1812. People will have to move about in search of 3D figures of these historical people. As soon as one is found, the user will have to take a selfie with the figure which will complete the achievement. The app has been released for iOS and Android but only partially with reports stating that the full version will be released in August. It is being made in collaboration with the Discover Moscow historical tour guide.

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