Augmented reality enables video game experiences that are increasingly
immersive. For its focus on walking and exploration, Niantic’s location-based video
game Pokémon Go (PG) has been praised for allowing players to foster their understanding
and relationship to surrounding spaces. However, in contexts where space
and movement are objects of conflicting narratives and restrictive policies on mobility,
playing relies on the creation of partial imaginaries and limits to the exploratory experience.
Departing from avant-garde conceptualizations of walking, this article explores
the imaginary that PG creates in occupied East Jerusalem. Based on observations collected
in various gaming sessions along the Green Line, it analyzes how PG’s virtual
representation of Jerusalem legitimizes a status quo of separation and segregation. In
so doing, this article argues that, instead of enabling an experience of augmented reality
for its users, playing PG in East Jerusalem produces a diminished one.