I never write about the bleeding edge of things. It doesn’t benefit most people to run out and try something very new most times. But I really think you should give Pokemon Go a try and I’ll explain why.
What is Pokemon Go?
If you’ve ever heard of the video game / card game / cartoon / multi billion dollar franchise that is Pokemon, it’s about a bunch of trainers who catch and train wild creatures in little balls so that they can battle each other (not bloody, but more like sporting). Again, this has been a super popular video game, a card game, etc.
And now it’s a mobile app available for both iPhone and Android.
In the mobile app, you play a trainer. You turn on your phone’s location services and camera, and you walk around a map of the area around you. (This is all based on a previous Google game called Ingress and uses all their real world data.) When a pokemon appears (remember: these are cute little monsters), you click on the little avatar of the creature.
The game then switches to camera view and you see the monster in the real world around you. I caught a little rat creature on the foot of my bed. It was on knee watching me. You flick a little red and white pokeball at it and try to catch it.
The “point” of the game is to capture lots of these things (gotta catch em all), evolve the ones you’ve captured, and then battle it out with other trainers.
Why This is Interesting
Before I say anything else, I should also tell you that Jacq downloaded it and started playing it. And likes it! This is rare in and of itself. She rarely likes the games I like. But that’s just anecdotal.
What I’ve seen so far with my own eyes are lots and lots of people out walking and laughing and talking and working together to play this game. Diverse people (sure, you have to have a smartphone and a reasonable data plan, but still diverse). And because the various “pokestops” (like landmarks) are tied to places in the real world like actual memorial statues and the like, it’s encouraging people to explore the world around them.
Parents are reporting that their previously-inside-only children are logging 3-5 miles without complaining or noticing because they’re chasing pokemon around. Grown ups are enjoying the light hearted fun. People who grew up playing the games are reliving their childhood (I’m too old by decades but my daughter and I played the card game almost ten years ago).
When was the last time you heard anything like this about any other game?
Give It a Try
There are a few ways you might check this out, whether or not you have kids. (Lots of grown ups are playing this game.)
- Download Pokemon Go for Android
- Download Pokemon Go for iPhone
- Turn on location services
- Yes, allow the app to use your camera
- Make sure your phone is charged (this eats battery)
- Go for a walk and enjoy
Still Not Sure What This Is About?
Watch this guy play it a moment:
Can’t see the video? Click here
And then open your mind to potential ways this might be cool for business or otherwise. Here’s a bakery in Toronto who gives price differences based on which of the three “teams” you’re on in the game:
Go. Catch em all!