If you know someone with a smartphone, (or a 90’s baby) you know that the latest craze to sweep the world is the Pokémon Go app. That’s right, an app made by Nitanic Labs that sends people of all ages on a hunt for virtual Pokémon. Users can “catch” them with a Pokéball and train and battle their Pokémon at Pokégyms or Pokéstops.
At a rate of 4 to 5 million downloads a day, Pokémon Go is on its way to be downloaded on every smartphone in the world by September, according to SurveyMonkey.
The catch: these can be literally anywhere. In the street, in your house, the parking lot of a shop, in a movie theater, or on school campuses.
With the use of location devices, smartphone users can see where there are Pokémon around them, even in your own house. The app was created with the intent to get kids outside more during the summer months. But not just kids are using this. Recently, in Central Park, New York, hundreds of “trainers”-the title you’re given if you hunt for Pokémon-stormed the park after the app showed that a rare Pokémon was located there. This frenzy stopped traffic and produced a stampede of people to enter the park late at night.
Business owners are looking to Pokémon Go to possibly create more business for themselves. Although owners can’t choose to have Pokémon in their stores, players with the app can “drop” a lure that will attract Pokémon to the area, and with this of course comes more players. Businesses are hoping that through this, people will take breaks between their “training” to shop around and spend money. Nitanic Labs has also spoken about possibly allowing businesses to permanently have Pokémon there if they set up a sponsorship. According to SurveyMonkey, users spend approximately $0.25 a day on the app, which is twice as much as users spend on the casual game.
Delaware State Parks took the initiative to create more visitors in their parks by creating a contest called “Poké Park Adventure.” The contest requires that trainers visit as many state parks as possible, taking screenshots of the Pokéstops they come across and uploading them to social media with the hashtag #pokeparkde. The trainer who visits the most Pokéstops will win a prize pack that includes Pokémon merchandise and a 2017 Annual Park Pass. This contest runs through the end of July.