BIG CONFESSION! I downloaded the Pokémon GO app and I’ve been playing it. I love it.
It appeals to my exercise-driven self, and draws you in, in the first steps. What I think is super genius is that it makes kids walk out in the real world to find geo points where you can catch pokemon and level up. Even though I just started playing two days ago, I have gotten a couple of others to join me already. I only wish I still had Nintendo stock. ;-*
For those of you who don’t know, Pokémon Go is a game that uses your phone’s GPS (Like Google maps) and clock to detect where and when you are in the game and make Pokémon “appear” around you. It uses augmented reality, so that when you point your phone (camera enabled) at a real-world place, a Pokémon “appears” there. As you move around the real world, different and more types of Pokémon will appear depending on where you are and what time it is. It’s an awesome way to encourage people to get off their butts and explore!
When new technology like this comes along, it’s very easy to roll your eyes and say something terrible about millennials. The ridiculous generational divide we are creating is a topic for another day, but for today, let me just say that it is often much easier (And more fun!) to just say yes. Yes, I will try this new-fangled technology. YES, I understand its appeal and YES, I LOVE IT.
One of my friends was able to get her son to willingly take a walk with her because he thought he might be able to catch some Pokémon out there.
The game is also having a positive impact on Main Street, with local business taking advantage of the opportunity for increased foot traffic – either from people coming in looking for Pokémon, or by offering discounts to players from a particular team.
It’s no secret that our country has a serious problem with weight and fitness. What a great way to have fun and get active at the same time. It can also help kids make new friends, as they encounter other real-world pokémon hunters and join teams.
If it bugs you that more kids (and plenty of adults) will have their face stuck in their phones, this game won’t make you happy. But you don’t have to keep your face glued to the screen. You just have to check if you are walking the right direction every so often.
Go try it! It’s free. It’s fun. It’s perfect for a #creativegenius break. Go talk a walk, and catch ’em all!