Tech Tuesday

Pokémon Go has become an instant phenomenon. Are you surprised? As one of the largest video game franchises since 1996, it has a huge following. It's also dragged augmented reality (AR) into the mainstream.

The Pokémon games have boasted a fun experience from the beginning - always silly, but with serious RPG battle mechanics and a lot of easter eggs to discover - the game had broad appeal for children and adult gamers of all interest levels. Then the spinoff games introduced some truly creative concepts; Pokémon Snap for the N64 really impressed me at the time.

Let me tell you about an event surprised me... Last night, I saw a guy on his bicycle with the game open, nearly cause an accident at Danforth and Victoria Park in Toronto. This was a grown man, and definitely not the demographic I expected to see playing Pokémon Go!

I've resisted the urge to download Pokémon Go. Though, I'm curious to give it a try. I have fond memories of Pokémon Red & Blue. I'm just not a big mobile gamer. Should I just give in?

To the average player, what might be most surprising is how invested the developer Niantic is in Pokémon Go as a marketing platform. Basically, there are tools within the game that brick & mortar business can use to draw players into their stores. It's quite ingenious. I wonder though, If you enjoy video games, do you feel a little on edge when the game you're playing reverses your role in the product/customer dynamic?

This article gives a clear overview of the current marketing potential of Pokémon Go.

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