Pokemon Go hits the streets playing to our emotional drivers

Who predicted a 90s fad could once again enthral the world? Pokemon Go sees a huge leap on in mobile gaming, using augmented reality and GPS to transform our everyday streets and landmarks into the mythical world of Pokemon, your real life movement determining the creatures you discover, absorbing you into the game. Additionally, and arguably more powerfully, it indulges players in their deep-rooted nostalgia for the obsessive cult that is Pokemon, providing the ultimate sense of belonging – got FOMO yet?

It’s immersive nature stems from ever-changing possibilities, encouraging players to keep the app active, to catch whatever looms around the corner. The ability to roam the globe limitlessly demonstrates the most freedom ever provided by a game and individual nuances keep you guessing – if I visit that nearby lake, will I catch a covetable Psyduck? As a result, it’s potently changing behaviours – complaints of sore legs as gamers get more exercise than usual! Why not take a different route today, what might you find? Furthermore, it’s fuelling online mayhem - the bizarre scenarios unfolding creating perfect sharing fodder (our favourites below!).

So how can retailers exploit this booming popularity? Word has it the game’s creators plan to feature sponsored locations – retailers opt to be featured in-game, encouraging footfall to capture desirable Pokemon. Fancy a cheeky Nandos’ to catch that flaming Moltres? Already, restaurants that coincidentally double up as Pokemon gyms are hosting Pokemon parties. Furthermore, there’s speculation extremely rare Pokemon may be introduced through public events – an opportunity to cash in on the hype?

Although, a word of caution: while engrossed in this fantasy world, it sees players’ control of their smartphones spiral rapidly – the heavy battery and data usage testing even the most patient. And when winter hits, subzero temperates will make hunting Pokemon outside less appealing! Is the hype sustainable…?


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