Why Pokemon Go is Taking Over Your Brain

Why Pokemon Go is Taking Over Your Brain
A rare Pokemon

(Rare Pokemon: Aerodactyl – Screenshot from Jordan Flood)


Games Have Reached Into the Real World

You know how older generations always say children are the future? Well once upon a time Millennials were children, and now this is the world that we are starting to create.

But I’m not talking about planet earth.

I’m talking about the convergence of the real world, and the world of Pokemon.

Pokemon Go has taken the place of pretty much every other app on my phone, and plenty of other people’s phones as well. But why?

The answer to this question is more complicated than it sounds, because this game is more than a game; it’s more than an app. In reality Pokemon Go is more of a key; a key that is currently unlocking the potential for communities, ages, races, and all genders to unite to flick their fingers to catch pocket monsters on smartphones.

I’ve been playing Pokemon Go since July 6, the first day that it came out. I was immediately hooked, but I was low hanging fruit for Niantic (the app developer). I played all the games when I was a kid, I’m a tech early adopter, and I’m a Millennial. This app was practically made for me, but the way that app transcends my demographic is remarkable.

People are now spending more time on Pokemon Go than Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, Twitter and Facebook every day.


Building Bridges and Crossing Them

The interesting thing about the app is that it is creating sub-communities that do not discriminate. Last night at 10:00 p.m. I, a 23 year-old Caucasian male, had a conversation with two African-American kids that couldn’t have been more than 12 years-old. Without Pokemon Go that probably doesn’t happen. Personal changes in my daily life due to this app don’t end here though.

In the name of catching Pokemon I’m getting more exercise than I normally would. I’ve walked 25 miles in the past week that I wouldn’t have. It’s far from rigorous exercise, but it’s still something that I feel good about.

Aside from positive changes on a individual basis Pokemon Go is showing that it has the ability to drive traffic to business both small and large.

Money Makes the (Pokemon Go) World Go Around

Pokemon Go - Pokestop w/Lure Module On

(Pokemon Go – Pokestop w/Lure Module On)

Local Business = Game Changer!

You’re in luck if you have a pokestop at your restaurant, bar, or any kind of business really. A pokestop is a place where Pokemon Go players go to collect any number of items necessary to play the game. What makes pokestops at businesses interesting is that a Pokemon Go player can drop what is called a lure module at a pokestop to attract Pokemon to that location for 30 minutes. Lure modules can be purchased within the game for a $1, or even cheaper if you buy them in bulk.

Inc. does a good job of outlining this here.

While lure modules attract Pokemon for Pokemon Go players, they attract potential paying customers for businesses. A simple post on social media about a planned lure module drop can go a long way.


Add or Delete a Pokestop From Your Business

Niantic has now re-opened a submissions page where they will allow complaints about pokestops, and also allow recommendations for additional stops. Hopefully this makes everybody happy.


Big Businesses Are About to Play

Niantic CEO John Hanke recently said that he expects advertisements to enter the world of Pokemon Go soon, but not in the form of a traditional banner ad or two. Hanke said that companies will be able to sponsor locations in the game. Who knows what this will exactly look like, but odds are it will be good for business and players alike.



In a dream world, Pokemon might just a catalyst to forge bonds between unlikely parties, and have a positive upon big businesses and small businesses alike. Only time will tell, but in the meantime, good luck catching ’em all!


Bonus: How to Guides and Resources