Confession: I’ve been addicted to the Pokemon Go since it’s release in the states last week. I’ve always been around Pokemon between friends and my brother being a super fan. But I’d only played a little bit of Pokemon Stadium and more recently some Pokemon Yellow on an emulator. But THIS. This is amazing.
We discussed so many aspects of this Pokemon Go Phenomenon on AwesomeCast this week (you should listen to the second half of the show for that) and you’ve probably seen scores of kids and adults assuming the position (Phone out. Walking. Stopping. Looking around. Continue)
But if you have a business or operate anything online:
- It can bring people to you. If you’re lucky enough to be a PokeStop or Pokemon Gym, you already have it made. I talked to the staff at Orbis Caffe in Mt Lebanon and they had noticed the flux of people since their Pokestop was revealed on the game’s launch. I had sat there for an afternoon watching the groups of people stopping out front, and counted about half of the visible clientele on the game while they sipped coffee or tea. Or awkwardly recharged behind a vase Stories are surfacing about bars and restaurants giving discounts or setting “Lures”, which you can purchase for less than a dollar, that brings Pokemon near your Pokestop, guaranteeing you attract every PokeHunter in the area, as I saw all afternoon at Orbis that afternoon.
- Create pop up events. The PA Humane Society are bringing people to a spot to help raise awareness . Once again, you simply need to fine a PokeStop, preferably in a public place or someplace you can get permission to occupy, and setup shop. Let your audience know about it so they are interested in attending as well!
- People are gathering and socializing. Images are popping up of people gathering in Central Park, or maybe your local park. People are walking to hot spots, meeting, and talking about strategies and what they’ve found. Complete strangers bonded by Pokemon. It has even been cited in helping those with mental health issues like social anxiety or depression.
- People are exploring their environments. The PokeStops are based on the places deemed important in its predecessor Ingress. Thanks to that, I’ve found fountains, sculptures, and murals that I’d walked or driven by or near every day I never noticed. I explored roads I hadn’t ever seen in the 10 years I had lived in my neighborhood until this game compelled me to go attack a nearby gym.
Will it last? Who knows. It feels like the 20 year staying power of Pokemon could contribute to this carrying on for more than a couple weeks. But the point is it’s hot now and you need to keep with the trends and ride the Pikachu-ridden wave when you can!
Also published on Medium.