What we can learn from: Pokémon Go

Posted By Olivia Mulder on July 19, 2016

If you’ve been on the Internet (or outside) lately, you’ve probably come in contact with the world’s latest viral sensation: Pokémon Go. Originally inspired by an April Fools’ joke, the game has since evolved into a full-blown augmented obsession. In fact, as you’re reading this, flocks of people are meandering around town, phones glued to face, catching Pokémon. To put the games popularity into perspective, the success of Pokémon Go added $7.5 billion to Nintendo’s market value in a few short days.

So why are people completely captivated by this game? The answer is simple. Pokémon Go blends the real and the digital in a way that no other augmented reality app has before now. Oh, and we can’t forget about the heavy dose of 90s nostalgia. Better still, this blast from the past can teach us a thing or two about the here and now.

 

A little exploration goes a long way

You know that incredible mural down the street from your apartment? Well, Pokémon Go does. With a little help from Niantic Labs and GPS, people are discovering parts of their cities that they never knew existed. See, in order to stock up on accessories or battle, you must physically visit PokéStops and Gyms. These tend to be near historic architecture, murals, and local gems – an intentional move on Niantic’s part. The goal was to help people explore their towns and gain fresh perspective. That same approach is crucial to the creative process. Look at a project through one lens, then throw that old, tired lens in the garbage and try a new one. Exploration is key to creation.

 

Comfort zones are overrated

Gone are the days when playing video games meant shutting yourself indoors. By placing Gyms and PokéStops around local landmarks, Pokémon Go encourages people to leave the comfort of their homes and venture out into the real(ish) world. Some players even claim that the game has improved their mental health, forcing them to get some fresh air and interact with other people. That’s pretty darn cool if you ask me. The moral; leave the comfort zones behind. If you want to be the very best -or create the very best work- putting yourself out there is absolutely essential.

 

If you build it, they will come

Perhaps the most interesting take-away from Pokémon Go is its use in the marketing world. Many PokéStops and Gyms have been placed at local businesses, bringing with them an influx of foot traffic. From clever signs to screenshots of the Pokémon themselves, business owners are using their location as a way to get creative with advertising. Some spots are even purchasing Lure Modules, which attract Pokémon to a certain spot for 30 minutes, to draw in customers. The lesson here is simple; always stay on top of trends, and give the customer something they can get excited about.

 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a wild Clefairy to catch.