Werner Herzog was told about Pokemon GO and it went exactly as you'd expect

'Do they bite each other's hands? Do they punch each other?'

Clarisse Loughrey
Friday 29 July 2016 09:02

Were we really going to let the Pokemon GO phenomenon swing by us without engaging the mind of our prime nihilistic cultural commentator?

Of course not; somebody was inevitably going to have to ask German director (and perpetual living mystery) Werner Herzog his thoughts on the game. An intrepid feat which fell to The Verge's Emily Yoshida, the cinematic footsoldier who breached the subject of the game during her interview with the iconic auteur.

No, Werner Herzog has never heard of Pokemon Go; responding, "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 Pokemon Go. What is happening on Pokemon Go?"

Yoshida briefly explained the basics of the game, with Herzog's first question on the subject now being: "When two persons in search of a Pokémon clash at the corner of Sunset and San Vicente is there violence? Is there murder?" She responded, "They do fight, virtually."

"Do they bite each other's hands? Do they punch each other?" Herzog seemed to enthusiastically continue, now presumably fixated on an imaginary camera sweeping over the bloodied fields of some great Pokémon battle.

The topic actually came as part of a fascinating conversation on the nature of technology, both in filmmaking and in the greater world, in advance of the release of his new documentary on the online world, Lo and Behold.

Herzog concluded his thoughts on the topic with, "the question — is this technology good or bad? — is an incompetent question. It's humans who are good or bad. Technology doesn't have any qualities, it has technical qualities, yes. The internet is fast; the internet has many ramifications worldwide, and so you can quantify certain things, but you cannot endow it with qualities like good or bad."

And, if you're desperate to know how exactly the vocally-gifted Herzog would pronounce the word Pokémon, you're in luck. Yoshida tweeted a short clip of the conversation.

Lo and Behold gets a US release 19 August.

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