Go, Pokémon, go!
Nintendo’s Pokémon Go is already wildly successful based on the number of downloads alone - and it's also succeeding in getting people to go outside. The game uses augmented reality to impose Pokémon into real life locations and uses a GPS system to lead users to these locations.
Jokes about the game doing more to combat childhood obesity in a few days than Michelle Obama did in eight years have been swirling the internet since its release. In fact, it seems as if Pokémon Go is all everyone’s talking about online.
Unfortunately, not all the talk about the game is positive.
And we thought texting was bad
A downside to the interactive game is that users spend more time out on the street with their faces in their phones than they do paying attention to oncoming traffic. Police all over have released statements reminding users to play the game safely (i.e paying attention to surroundings and not driving while distracted). There have been incidents reported - from a young girl stumbling across a dead body while playing the game, to kids getting robbed after criminals took advantage of the GPS system to track victims’ whereabouts.
Local businesses have an opportunity
Despite the negative aspects to the game, it has been credited with getting people outside and creating a bond in the community. How can this help your business? First off, don’t be the Dairy Queen with the sign on the door saying “Pokémon are for paying customers only” - embrace the game and have a little fun with it:
If your business is lucky enough to be selected a gym or PokéStop, be grateful for all the new faces you’ll have at your door, and welcome them in. Although most will be there solely for the Pokémon, a promotional sale to lure them in wouldn’t hurt, especially if you're a fast food restaurant or convenience store. All that running around makes a player thirsty. Be a little creative, keep an eye on social media, and when players are outside your business, you too can catch 'em all.
IMAGE CREDIT: SADIE HERNANDEZ
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New Orleans, LA