There’s a Bellsprout in my garden! Lessons from Pokémon Go
Just when you thought
you had the world of technology and social media figured out, something like Pokémon Go comes along and leaves you wondering what might be next.
Only time will tell how long the Pokémon Go craze will last. Once the dust settles and the fevered hunt for Snorlaxes is over, there will surely be other crazes like it. In the meantime, I wanted to reflect on the lessons Pokémon Go has already imparted upon us.
Be fast, but smart. Businesses big and small have seized Pokémon Go as an opportunity to be capitalized on, and it seems they are being rewarded by the game’s legions of fans. From mobile companies offering unlimited data, to retail stores placing lures and offering deals, those reaping the most benefit are those that made smart moves very quickly.
Sometimes silly and fluffy is okay. Let’s be honest – this game offers nothing of substance and is simple enough that most elementary school children can pick it up in no time (in fact, they probably learned it faster than most adults). We can’t lose sight of the need for something that’s accessible and celebrates fun for fun’s sake, especially in today’s crazy world.
Social media is still a growing, developing medium. I truly consider Pokémon Go to be one of the first social media channels that takes place in the real world. People are meeting other people and forming friendships because of the game, much the same way that online gaming has done for years. Only, because of the nature of the game, they’re meeting people in their hometowns face to face. Some have even started efforts to drop lures at children’s hospitals so children who can’t go outside can still play.
But perhaps the most important thing Pokémon Go shows us is that the virtual world can have a big, direct impact on the real world, and how the two interact is constantly evolving.