Unless you’ve been living under the worlds largest rock, I’m sure you’re aware of the hype and excitement of the launch of Pokemon Go.

Whether you feel good about it and you’re excited that nerds are getting out of their dens, and losing some weight. Or you feel bad about it, because people are crowding public places, while still staring at their phones. You cannot deny that it’s launch is one of the most viral launches of anything that we’ve ever seen.

Since magic is a unique art, it’s always interesting when new art forms, games, or technologies come to light, that help us get a better view of what were doing.

So what does magic and Pokemon Go have in common AND WHY DOES IT MATTER TO YOU?

They’re both augmented realities!

Without sounding like a speech from elementary School: Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines augmented reality as:

“An enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology”

Magic is exactly that!

But instead of technology we use, tools, moves, misdirection and actually, never mind, we do use technology sometimes.

I don’t bring this up so you have something to ponder when you go looking for a Ratata or Pikatchu in the park, but so that you have something to ponder when you create your magic!

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We augment peoples realities by showing them things in front of their faces that aren’t really there.  The only difference is that they don’t need to look through the lens of their phone to see it. They see it with their own two eyes.

Actually thats the advantage of magic!

You can imagine how frighting it would be to see an actual Pikatchu in front of you, instead of just through the iPhone screen.

That is exactly what we’re doing!

That’s why people scream when they see a sponge ball vanish from our hands, and feel it appear in theirs.

People don’t experience impossible things in their every day life. Seeing a Pokemon in front of you through your screen, or seeing a dollar bill float in front of you are both impossible. But seeing the Pokemon isn’t as frighting, because you can take solace that it’s just the use of technology.

Magic, is different!

So how do we use this to our advantage.

It’s time for a paradigm shift in magic, and this could help.

We are trying to give our audience an incredible and impossible experience by altering or augmenting their current reality

-Jonah Babins, right now

Let me say that again, incase the people in the back didn’t hear it.

We are trying to give our audience an incredible and impossible experience by altering or augmenting their current reality

When we look at what we do through the lens of peoples existing realities, we start to see it in a new light. We aren’t performing so that we look good, we aren’t performing so that we feel smarter than our audiences, we’re performing to make an incredible experience for them.

Magic is selfless. We know how the tricks work, they aren’t for the performer. As a matter of fact the only thing we get out of it, is the reaction of our audiences. So that’s exactly what we should be trying to enhance, and work on.

Magic is about our audience, not about ourselves!

Which leads me to my next point

Have you ever heard of Ingress?

Everyone has been swept off of their feet by Pokemon go. But did you know that the creators, Niantic, created another location based augmented reality game four years ago, which is said to be much better since its been developing for four years, called Ingress.

So why did everyone download Pokemon Go, but not everyone download Ingress.

Drumroll……

Ratatatatatatatatatatatatatata 

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Because people care about Pokemon!

In this case the reason people care is nostalgia, but the importance is: people care already! They aren’t trying to make us care, by highlighting things that are unnatural, we actually do care already, because it’s about a topic we relate to!

Is the relevance to magic starting to make sense to you?

It should!!!

Why do some magic tricks make people say hmmmm, and other magic tricks make people cry or shit their pants, and remember it forever.

Because they care.

Before David Copperfield flew, he would speak to his audience about dreams that they’ve always had. You can bet your bottom dollar that almost all of the audience thought about all of the times they wished they were able to fly, even BEFORE his feet leave the ground.

What I’m trying to say is

Stop putting a card in the middle of the deck and making it come back to the top FOR NO REASON!!

We have the incredible ability to augment and change peoples realities! Let’s make sure that the topics and the subjects that we choose to augment and make exciting are topics that our audience remotely cares about.

That doesn’t mean you have to put away your cups and balls. But I think that it does mean that we should be more creative in explaining to our audience why what we’re doing has any impact on their life, and why they should care!

The more we care as magicians about the relevance of what we’re doing for our audience, the better the reactions, and experience will be.

Remember, it’s not for us, it’s for them. So let’s make our magic about something that matters to them, and not just us, so that we can give our audience the best experience possible.

On the Note of Pokemon Go our episode 16 Podcast Guest Mark Correia made a hilarious video about Pokemon Go, which you should check it out! 

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