I’m a doubter.
Sounds like another fad to me.
Same as the Pokémon cards, Beanie Babies, Pet Rocks.
But I’m also not someone who isn’t afraid to investigate further and keep an open mind.
The Buzz Starts
So it starts out by hearing about it on the radio.
Then people at work are talking about it.
Then I’m kicking the soccer ball around at the park with the kids when a man in his 60’s walks by and says there’s Pokémon by the power lines.
So I decide to check it out. Download the app. And see what’s around.
Now I’ve never played with Pokémon cards. Never had an interest in them and it was after I’d passed that age (8-12 years old). So I had no clue.
But My Kids Know Something
So I download the app and see what happens.
Sure enough, there’s a Pokémon in our backyard – a Squirtle.
So I sneak out into the backyard with the kids (don’t want to scare off the cute like Squirtle).
And I take a picture with the kids and the Squirtle in it to document my capture.
Then throw the Poké Ball at him and capture him.
That Was The Start
The kids were hooked.
So I was set to go for a run and return a Redbox DVD.
And what happened?
Of course. My kids want to join me. They grab their bikes and say, “Let’s go hunt some Pokémon.”
Off We Go
So they get on their bikes and I start running. We drop off the DVD then pull out the phone and turn on the Pokémon Go app. And what do we see?
A Pokémon Stop by the Carls Jr.
We click on it and get some Pokémon Balls.
We think we saw some Pokémon at the community center in the area where we live. So we start checking out places on the phone on our way back.
We find a Pokémon Gym (only Level 1 – and need to be Level 5 to challenge people at the gym). So we’ll have to pass til later.
We head by the Community Center.
Sure enough. Pokémon everywhere.
And even more interesting???
Pokémon Hunters everywhere too.
Just like us. Kids and parents staring at their phones and walking around the Community Center. Looking for Pokémon.
We say hi to a family of Pokémon hunters at the corner of the park.
We pass some friends of my kids…also hunting Pokémon.
It is like a smorgasbord of Pokémon and Pokémon hunters.
Wrapping Up Our Hunt
So we capture a few more Pokémon – two Paras, Zubat, Ekans – to go with our Squirtle.
- 5 Pokémon captured
- 4 separate Pokémon hunting parties
- 1.3 miles traveled on foot/bikes
- 30 minutes of breathing fresh air
- Bonding with the kids
- No complaints about having to walk
- Extracted them from their home electronics’ tether (yes, they can actually leave the house and get some “real” exercise)
- They laughed
- They were excited
- They had fun
- They wanted to do it again
- You don’t have to drive a long way to have adventures – they’re right in your backyard (literally)
Pokémon Go combines video game attraction with geocaching exercise and an old-time community feel (how often have you seen this many people from your neighborhood outside on a weeknight?)
I’m so used to this routine with the neighbors. You see a car drive up. The garage door opens. The garage door closes. Rinse and repeat. No one talks to anyone. And no one comes out in the evening.
But with Pokémon Go. That is changing.
Will it still be a fad that fades? Likely.
But it is pretty cool that at the spur of the moment you can have an instant real outdoor adventure with your kids with almost no preparation. It is waiting for you when you’re ready to partake.
So grab your kids, your grandkids, your neighbor kids (oh, better make sure it is okay before you do…don’t want the authorities coming after you).
Where Shouldn’t You Pokémon Go?
- Crossing the street (same rules as when people texted like zombies in the early 2000’s).
- While driving on the freeway (it can wait)
- In the bad part of town (you know where that is)
There you have it. You can reconnect with your kids. You can reconnect with your community. You can reconnect with the outdoors (it really does exist).
P. S. Want to give your business a boost? How could you incorporate the principles of Pokémon Go into your marketing or sales process? A fun app that engages your customer’s imagination? A mix of electronic and real life engagement? A community atmosphere?