So this week sees in the new Pokémon GO app which uses a mix of GPS data and AR to finally prove to your friends that you're better than them at something.
As a 90's child it really excites me that all this new Poké-talk is happening between people of all ages. For the iGeneration of kids out there the AR is a big link between their imagination and reality. The Baby Boomers have this brand new technology in their pockets which allows them to bond more with their children, for free. And as for the Millennials it is purely nostalgia, a connection to the past when the idea of working or paying rent was as far away as a level 100 Red Gyarados. There is one common factor here, connection, and it's not just with memories or families, but communities and strangers. Unlike playing games though a screen you can now go to physical places and meet 'real' people who all have a common interest - catching all of the things.
The game uses GPS data such as densely populated areas and Google Maps' points of interest to create areas where trainers/players can go and capture different types of Pokemon and collect various rewards.
The essence of game is simple; people will go where Pokémon go.
And for me there is a major monetisation light bulb that is beaming with all the potential directions they could take this.
When you have an unlimited amount of GPS data and gamification what do you get?
Lets give you a scenario.
John owns a bar and sales have been a little down this month.
"Advertising could work" John thinks.
"But they are not very cost effective" He also ponders.
So instead of traditional advertising, John tries something different. He picks up the phone to Poké-HQ and asks if they could help him.
They say to him "John John, Johnny-boy my man, hows it going? Enough of the small talk. You pay us £1000 and we will put a special rare Pokémon in your bar between the hours of 5pm and 8pm that only people from the ages of 21-30 can see."
John says "I like it but it's a little pricey, anything else?"
Poké-HQ replies "You drive a hard bargain, Steve."
"Whatever. How about we will tag a potion to one of your drinks. When a customer walks by and sees they can have a free Super Potion with a JD and coke, we will skim £1 off every sale"
John can see the Poké-dollars in his eyes.
"Better yet, when a trainer is in your bar we could give them an XP boost that exponentially rises over time. The longer they stay in your bar the more XP they get, and if we start increasing the amount of Pokémon that appear there it could be beneficial for your business."
John agrees to the terms and signs multiple contracts.
His business is booming for about 4 months or so before the place goes up in a ball of flames in an unsolved arson attack.
The point being that there are a LOT of different routes you can go down with location data and gamificating reality.
With the rise of this game some could say that this is could be the very start of the new-age of gamification. It's already all around us a lot more than we care to think and Jesse Schell has spoken in an amazing lecture which I would highly recommend called When Games Invade Real Life which touches on a lot of what I have said and is definitely worth the watch.