Pokemon Go is genius. Let me give you an example.
It’s 100 degrees in the shade but the whole family is out walking a local trail through the woods. Why are my children willing to stroll for miles and sweat buckets? To catch imaginary creatures and hatch their incubating imaginary eggs. Genius.
Genius Point 1: Motivating people of all ages to go out and move.
A few Pokemon will show up in your house or office or even your bathroom (admit it, folks, there are a few critters in your Pokedex who had to bring digital air fresheners with them). But if you want a lot of Pokemon, you must walk out into the wide world and look for them. They don’t come to you, you must go to them. You must walk to hatch eggs. Smart phones know if you’re driving. They know if you are sleeping, they know when you’re awake. They know if you’re trying to cheat or not, so go walk for goodness sake.
Genius Point 2: Building community.
My boys are stopped in the middle of the trail to catch a Pidgey. A middle aged woman is speed-walking towards us and the boys are too engrossed to respond when I tell them to move aside. Will she be annoyed that we’re blocking her way? Nope. She stops to show them the Pokemon she caught on her walk that morning and gives them a tip on where to find a Drowzee in the park. The game “forces” people to go to public places (schools, post offices, libraries, museums, monuments, etc.) in order to restock on Pokeballs and other items you need to play the game. Once humans congregate in public places, they have a tendency to interact with one another and these interactions are what we call community. Socialization Studies 101.
The game is true to the show, so we should be too. Most Pokemon episodes begin and end with the characters walking. They look where they’re going, they’re courteous, and they’re not trying to drive a car while staring at a smart phone screen. Pokemon Go is genius, so let’s play it like the geniuses we are.
The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.