Pokemon Go has swept the nation, and it’s not just kids. While I was walking to the gym (a real one, to work out), I saw people on their phones obviously trying to catch some, and they ranged from teens to middle-aged couples.
As of 7/14, I am seeing trainers level 24 and beyond, with pokemon Combat Powers of 1000-1400. I’m just a meager level 9 with only one pokemon that’s in the 400 CP range.
What’s fascinating about this game is it’s opportunities. A lot of people complain how the battles suck, or how this game feels incomplete. But the developers Niantic are planning to do bi-weekly updates, such as trading and other ways to interact with pokestops. With investments piling up and this update schedule, I don’t think the hype will fade any time soon. I actually think it will speed up more augmented reality developers.
1. Pokemon Go Will Increase In-Store Traffic
Ecommerce and online shopping caused consumers to stay home and do their shopping. Why go to the mall when you can get everything for cheap on Amazon?
But Pokemon Go encourages consumers to go out and explore the world! And retailers are already thirsting to become pokestops.
Ingress, Niantic’s first games, monetized locations to pharmacies and places like Jamba Juice. PokemonGo already has that partnership with McDonalds…as if McDonalds wasn’t already so crowded..
I dont normally see so many people at a plaza on a weekday, but today it felt like a weekend with so many people outside.
Pokemon Go, and other Augmented Reality games, will boost mall and walk-in traffic, especially if sponsored pokestops turned into scavenger hunts! Imagine Black Friday traffic during MewTwo battles, right inside Walmart!
And instead of dragging your kids to grocery stores, you’ll have to drag them away… “Enough catching pokemon!” you’d yell. Or, you’ll be catching pokemon with your kids…
If Pokemon Go is here to stay, then online-only stores will have to invest in physical space. The retail world is due for unexpected surprises.
2. Pokemon Go Might Build a “Faction” Mentality
We already joke about Red vs Blue vs Yellow teams. The competitive “fun” element Niantic developed here is gym battles – taking over “turfs” where you battle out other players with their pokemon.
This may be a far-fetched idea but what if that violence seeps into the real world? Like pokemon gangs for instance?? I mean, the point of augmented reality is to transpose virtual/game elements into the real world, then what if we transposed the violence itself?
I’m just waiting on 1-1 pokemon battles to be implemented – but thinking about it, will this in-your-face competitiveness result in violence (like the case of this guy who murdered another gamer for revenge?), or will it be benign like Magic trading card games?
3. More Exercise, Exploration & Scavenger (Pokemon) Hunting
This is a no-brainer. Maybe it’s too soon to say Pokemon Go has done what JK Rowling did to reading. Only this time is about exploring the world and putting to use all that photo-geo tagging Google Maps has been doing.
Ironically, if I hadnt been looking for pokestops, I wouldn’t have even noticed the murals, Masonic art and other quirky stuff on my way to the gym.
4. Data Collection and GPS Location Technology May Eventually Develop into an Orwellian Nightmare
We already know Google and Facebook are the Big Brothers watching our every move, be it through email or Messenger conversations. I’m tired of “personalized” ads invading my Spotify list and every damn unrelated webpage I visit just because I work in ecommerce technology and these Data Masters think my life revolves around that…Anyways, that’s a tangent..
Children with smartphones today will grow up being watched more closely. I want to say it’s a Generation X parental mindset thing based on my Howard and Strauss readings. The spotlight will be on the Gen Z “New Silent generation”.
It’s kinda weird for us millennials, but I think we’ll just accept this technology with a “meh” and eventually grow out of our childhood nostalgia.