It’s everywhere. If you haven’t noticed it, then you’re blind to those staring into their phones. It’s not just the occasional social networking interaction, or a quick text response. It’s more. It’s people incessantly swiping, touching, launching an egg. They play a new game that’s developing into a frenzy. People have their heads down as they cross the street, walk into light poles, catching creatures. They are engrossed in chasing, catching, training incubating monsters. While training, people resemble zombies of the Walking Dead. What is it? It is Pokémon Go, and it is about to change all of our relationships.
Apple confirms Pokémon Go was downloaded from the App Store more than any other release in history within its first week. No one knows for sure how many downloads that is, but it beat out longtime favorites like Game of War, Candy Crush Saga, Facebook Messenger, and Snapchat. If downloads translate to dollars Pokémon Go is making big money, nearly $2 million a day in the first week, and as much as $14 million by July 11th, reports Cinema Blend.
Pokémon is the latest craze in augmented reality. What is augmented reality? It is a really bad name for an experience that integrates digital information with the user’s environment in real time. There’s app for just about everything. And, once in awhile an app comes along that revolutionizes the way we interact with something. Have you read “There’s An App For That”? Pokémon Go has the ability to change your health, marketing, business, and so much more, when it taps into the ability. I’m guessing the ability to capitalize earning potential is top of mind for developer John Hanke, Nintendo CEO.
Origins of Pokemon
While the game developed a following nearly overnight, it may have been as long as 20 years in the making. If you are familiar with “Meridian 59,” “Key Hole,” “Google Earth,” “Niantic,” then you are already familiar with Hanke’s creations. Pokémon Go is so popular that it has to be a gag; right? Well, you are partly correct, at least in its debut. In 2014 Google and the Pokémon Company teamed up for an April Fools’ Day joke. It was a mini game allowing people to find Pokémon on Google Maps. It went viral and Hanke set about to making the game a reality. Hanke put together a team of investors, including Google, Nintendo, and the Pokémon Company to bring the game to life. Three main goals are behind the creation:
- Exercise: A lot of fitness apps come with a lot of “baggage” that end up making you feel like “a failed Olympic athlete” when you’re just trying to get fit, Hanke says. “Pokemon Go” is designed to get you up and moving by promising you Pokemon as rewards, rather than placing pressure on you.
- “To see the world with new eyes:” The game is intended to “give you a little nudge” towards cool and interesting things in your neighborhood by turning real-life landmarks and historical sites into Pokestops and Gyms where players power up and battle. By encouraging exploration, “Pokemon Go” can “make your life better in some small way,” Hanke says.
- Breaking the ice: All over the world, players are organizing “Pokemon Go” outings, cruising around their area and trawling for Pokemon. At higher levels, players need to team up with fellow players to conquer those Gyms. This is by design: Hanke describes “Pokemon Go” as an “icebreaker” that “gives people a reason to spend time together.”
One of the main goals behind the game was exercise. I can see why. A person walks between 2 and 10 kilometers to hatch pokémon. That’s easy exercise if you’re lost in game world. It is easy to lose track of time, and not notice how many steps, or miles, have been logged. I wanted to see what the hype was about, so I downloaded the app. I have two girls, who logged a lot of steps in a short time. The girls were excited to run to the next Pokéstop, swipe, get more poke eggs, then run to catch a pokémon. Our 4 year old logged in excess of 3 miles, over 7,000 steps, quickly, with minimal disagreement, for age four. We walked to a coffee shop, around a town square, and did so easily because the kids were enticed to make the next catch.
Let’s face it. This is no kid’s game. Look around and notice who’s playing. Everyone. People of all ages play. Kids, for sure, are involved with the creatures they see on television. High school kids play, college kids play, and adults of all ages. This game transcends all age demographics. It appeals to everyone.
What happens when pokémon start hiding around a fitness gym, or the mile marker on the treadmill, elliptical, or bike? Well, app users get healthier, that’s what. There are other health benefits Hanke may not have intended. People struggling with anxiety and depression gain get up and go momentum. Dr. John Grohol, an expert in technology’s impact on human behavior and mental health, says,
“The challenge has always been, if you’re depressed, your motivation level is nonexistent,” he explains. “So, you want to go out and get some fresh air, or even take a shower, and it can be a very difficult thing to even comprehend, much less do. I think the impact of something like this, this game, can really be beneficial.”
People battling social issues, anxiety and depression can get help from pokémon? Yes. If basic daily activities are a struggle this game can get people motivated, get them outdoors, get them breathing fresh air. Once outdoors it may keep people moving longer than intended, and improve their mental health. I may be right, or I may be crazy, or both. In any case here’s substantiation of the idea.
Health was one of the early goals of developers, so pay careful attention while walking and driving over playing the game. These activities present serious health harm potential. There is a time to stop playing the game. Maybe you don’t want a pokémon jumping up on your table while your family dines at a restaurant. If conversation and family time is the goal mealtime may be a good time for Pokémon stop.
Driving is another good time for Pokémon stop. The app was designed for walking distances, not driving distances. If you are driving, please keep your eyes on the road, and save the adventure for a safer time. This person hit a parked police car while catching Pokemon.
As a passenger I discovered that while my game still worked while pulling out of a parking place. My kids were safely buckled in the car and my husband was in the driver’s seat, but another rattata popped up on the floor board, and I caught him. This game does not track at high speeds, but under 10 mph it seems to work fine.
It’s possible one person died while playing the game. When something becomes so popular so quickly it often becomes prey. Be careful if the environment changes and your next pokéstop is in a questionable destination.
There is a warning as the game loads, cautioning users to stay alert and aware of their surroundings at all times. Perhaps the developers don’t want to get sued, or maybe they really care about your health.
A day adventuring, stretching training skills, has you parched and famished. No worries, there’s a restaurant around the corner. The daily special just popped up and set your tastebuds aflutter. You’re probably going to their pokéstop to make the next catch and get refreshed.
Does your career success depend on bringing traffic to you? Realtor needs go virtual, and viral as soon as this potential is available. What if your open house is now a pokéstop? Now that’s traffic building potential. Your customer’s house may sell faster because it is a pokéstop. If your career is in sales, your revenue generating potential can grow exponentially, with your creative ability to use this game.
How do you become a pokéstop? It’s going to take patience, and it may not happen this week, but the earning potential is there for your career, and for app developers. How can my business become a poke stop? It may be a few updates away, but it is the wave of the future, and it is about to offer new opportunities to generate revenue.
Whether you’re going on date night. No, not date night. What, really? This guy turned a pokémon hunt into a date adventure with his girlfriend.
Whatever your needs are they can be met in the future of this app. Pokémon Go is here to stay and its earning potential is immeasurable. Are you ready for the future of Pokémon Go? If not you may soon be left behind.