Write about a fad, fashion trend, riot, or panic about which you are familiar. (You do not have to have experienced it yourself; it is okay to just “know” about this example.) Use either contagion theories, emergent norm theories, or value-added theory in order to explain why people participate(d) in this collective/crowd behavior.

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Analyzing the Emergent Norm Theory through the Example of the Pokémon GO Craze

The emergence of Pokémon GO in 2016 took the world by storm, captivating millions of players who embarked on real-world adventures to catch virtual creatures. This mobile game became a global sensation, leading to mass gatherings in public spaces and creating a sense of shared excitement among players. The phenomenon of Pokémon GO can be analyzed through the lens of emergent norm theory to explain why people participated in this collective behavior.

Emergent Norm Theory

Emergent norm theory posits that in certain situations where norms are unclear or absent, individuals in a crowd or group will collectively establish new norms based on the actions and reactions of others. These emergent norms guide behavior and shape the dynamics of the group, leading to a sense of cohesion and shared purpose.

Pokémon GO Craze

During the peak of the Pokémon GO craze, players were often seen congregating in parks, landmarks, and other public spaces to hunt for virtual creatures using their smartphones. This collective behavior can be understood through emergent norm theory, as players quickly established new norms and behaviors based on the actions of others in the virtual community.

Spontaneous Social Interactions

The game provided a platform for spontaneous social interactions among players who shared a common goal of capturing Pokémon. As individuals gathered in popular locations known as PokéStops and Gyms, they observed how others were playing the game, exchanging tips and strategies, and forming ad-hoc teams to tackle challenges together.

Norms of Cooperation and Collaboration

Through their interactions, players began to develop emergent norms of cooperation and collaboration. Strategies such as sharing rare Pokémon sightings, organizing group raids to defeat powerful creatures, and assisting newer players in understanding game mechanics became prevalent within the Pokémon GO community. These emergent norms fostered a sense of camaraderie and mutual support among players.

Sense of Belonging and Identity

Participating in the Pokémon GO craze allowed individuals to feel a sense of belonging to a larger community of players who shared their enthusiasm for the game. As emergent norms solidified, players identified themselves as part of a collective group with common interests and goals, reinforcing their commitment to the shared experience of exploring the real world through augmented reality.

In conclusion, the Pokémon GO craze exemplifies how emergent norm theory can elucidate collective behavior in response to novel social phenomena. By establishing new norms and behaviors based on interactions with fellow players, individuals were able to form a cohesive community centered around the shared experience of playing the game. The emergence of cooperation, collaboration, and a sense of belonging highlights the powerful role of social dynamics in shaping collective behaviors during fads and trends like Pokémon GO.

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