The Pokémon Movement

If you haven’t heard about Pokémon Go by now, it’s safe to save you’ve been living under a rock (or in a town with no internet connection… but since you’re reading this post, that’s probably not the case). I was very intrigued the moment I heard about it and downloaded it right away. I didn’t download it because I grew up watching them on TV or playing the games growing up, but because I loved the idea of a game using Augmented Reality AND forcing users to GO OUTSIDE. Plus as a developer who works at an advertising agency, it was in my best interest to dive in and see what it was all about.

5 Things I Realized After Playing Pokémon Go

  1. We Can Take the Heat! This game was released during a time where even those of us in the South are struggling with the heat. Not to mention that in SC we’ve been having record setting high temperatures (making for a DELIGHTFUL summer). Despite that, we found ourselves spending our lunch breaks OUTSIDE. Walking around. Roaming our city. And if we can do that in 100 degrees… we have no more excuses to stay inside and sit around.
  2. Increased Active Time. Like many people, I wear an activity tracker (I have a Bellabeat Leaf), and I saw my activity time DOUBLE once this game came out. It was motivating. I now find myself actively going to the gym again and my co-workers and I have been opting to walk more at lunch time. And GASP… I’ve even been walking TO the gym during my lunch breaks (btw I’m talking about real gyms… not the ones in the game).
  3. Geeks Unite… and Get Social. Look, I think all of us playing Pokémon Go are well aware of how silly we look… walking around, looking at our phones constantly, stopping in the middle of the sidewalk to throw fake balls at virtual creatures that can only be seen on our phones… we get it. But that also made us stand out to other players. We found ourselves randomly talking to other players on the street and engaging in conversations. And in an age where we NORMALLY use our phones to avoid human interaction… I’d say that’s a win.
  4. Always Dive In. Like I said before, I work in advertising. If something becomes this popular, this fast, you have no choice but to check it out and instantly brainstorm ideas on how your clients could benefit from it (like a contest where you have to catch a Pokémon on your plate from a Fresh on the Menu restaurant!) . Plus, as I learned from my experience with Snapchat, sometimes you just need to open your mind and give things a chance before judging them.
  5. This is a Game Changer. Before now, no one has really taken Augmented Reality to quite this level. It’s the perfect combination of competitiveness, fitness, and social. I can’t wait to see what else will stem from this.

So kudos to Niantic… the bar has been raised.