Want a perfect example of a meme? Look no further than all of these stories that have emerged in the past few days about what Pokemon Go can teach all of us. (If you have no idea what Pokemon Go is all about, here is a good explainer.)
I compiled this quick survey of all the things you can learn from Pokemon Go if you’re a journalist, a retailer, a banker, a mobile wallet provider, a Christian, a marketer, a person in a relationship, a political campaigner, an American who doesn’t understand metric, a student or an internal startup. Or if you’re just alive.
The main takeaway is this: When something like Pokemon Go goes viral, people jump all over it to say what they would have found a way to say anyway. They newsjack the virality of the meme to draw attention to their own story. (See what I just did there?)
Truth is, I’m getting bored of this meme already. After reading these, you’ll know why.
The author meanders around, considering a variety of issues in a somewhat interesting manner, but doesn’t really spell out what, in fact, journalists can learn, ending the piece with this:
“I realize I’m asking a lot of questions in this piece, and there may not be answers to all of them. But I believe we have to grapple with them. As platforms and experiences immerse participants in a feed, a platform or in metadata layers between a platform and the outside world, we have to ask ourselves how journalism fits in — and then how we might think of journalism as potentially something people interact with when they may be doing something else entirely.”
I think it would be more valuable for journalists to re-read McLuhan’s The Medium is the Massage.
This one is pretty straight-forward, identifying four rather hard to disagree with lessons:
- Connect people with their favorite things. (Yes.)
- Make it fun. (Of course.)
- Everyone loves a treasure hunt (We do, actually!)
- Getting people active is a win. (Sure, let’s go with that.)
Jim Marous surveys a wide range of #fintech influencers and identifies a variety of issues that will inform how financial services are packaged and delivered in the future, including:
- The role of augmented reality;
- Geolocation data and the role it can play in marketing; and, of course
- Audience engagement.
In fact, these issues that are relevant to many industries and, unlike some of the other attempts to educate us, I think this piece adds value to the discussion of the future of financial services.
Still in financial services, there’s not much new here except the obvious suggestion that it would be great if mobile wallet providers could make an app as engaging as Pokemon Go, but don’t count on it:
“Of course, mobile wallet providers can’t expect to achieve Pokémon Go’s current screen time with consumers, but there needs to be a way to match that relevancy and becoming a true center for a consumer’s financial life is one way.”
Isn’t that the goal of every business these days?
Apparently, the lessons of this latest viral sensation are not lost on one young Christian man who points out the values of:
- Getting outside
- Building community, and
- The importance of technology.
Not particularly Christian virtues, but virtues nonetheless.
This piece doesn’t offer much more than a description of how Pokemon Go users are ending up in restaurants and malls along their routes while playing the game. The author concludes with:
“For marketers, augmented reality holds significant promise, from gamifying the user experience to more straightforward B2B applications that allow prospective customers to virtually test large purchases.”
This is true, but Pokemon Go doesn’t make this any more true than it was last week.
Business Insider takes another crack at it with What Marketers can Learn from Playing Pokemon Go. But all they really offer is that AR and VR will be huge for marketing (duh):
“So while you’re thinking that Pokémon GO may not get you, augmented reality, virtual reality and how these technologies will engage with audiences is worth getting, and soon. Don’t wait for your six-year-old to explain it to you. Get involved and see it for yourself.”
Or your 23 year-old, in my case.
Who doesn’t need some relationship help?
Lesson #1: Be willing (as in, don’t outright dismiss the game, like I initially did)
Lesson #2: Communication
Lesson #3: Teamwork
Lesson #4: Don’t Ignore
Lesson #5: Don’t Keep Count
Lesson #6: Laugh
Seems like this guy could have been doing anything with his significant other and this general relationship experience would have applied. (“Don’t keep count” really is some good advice.)
Sound familiar? What about getting outside and walking?
- Get out there: political races are won and lost on people’s front steps. (See, getting out and walking is important in so many ways.)
- Set goals: Pokemon Go “is like Fitbit for kids”.
- Just like Pokémon Go, all politics is local.
Ok, that was a good effort. Though, I find it curious how many times getting outdoors and walking around is highlighted. Guess it’s an important life lesson for many computer-bound gamers.
According to Mental Floss, Pokemon Go can teach Americans about the metric system. Distances in the game are measured in kilometers and apparently there have been quite a number of searches looking for the terms “how far is 2 km” and “how far is 5 km”.
This article basically just inserts numbers in between sentences until it looks like there are 14 reasons, but it really comes down to two arguments:
- Mobile phones and apps are the future of learning.
- Stop resisting that mobile phones and apps are the future of learning.
The brilliant thing Pokemon Go can teach us about the future of augmented reality, according to Inc. Magazine, is that it’s going to be huge. Really?
A little more esoteric, but the company behind Pokemo Go is Niantic Labs which less than a year ago was still an internal startup at Google. From this, author David Bland draws three lessons:
- Internal startups can still be successfully spun out from their corporate parents. (If you say so.)
- Internal startups can still raise funding from the ex-parent corporation.
- Internal startups can still launch Minimum Viable Products (MVP’s) while being part of the corporation.
This doesn’t feel ground shaking to me, but maybe I’m missing it.
Anyway, did I mention I’m bored of this meme already?
I do hope it stops soon, but in the meantime let me know some of the craziest Pokemon Go stories that I’ve missed.