But was does this mean for cities
? The Pokemon Go game, offers cities the chance to promote sites and services and bring certain community groups together. Pokespots are created by setting up location spots in Ingress and the company gives people and organisations the opportunity to suggest new ones. This gives local authorities the chance to draw gamers to local points of interests and services. However, once the initial excitement around Pokemon dies down, the technology and software behind the games offers other opportunities. One of the most interesting of these is the ability for cities to overlay maps with multiple layers of data sources that can provide key information at set points and also encourage people to visit certain locations to carry out activities. This could be used during the planning process to allow residents or planners to identify the site, explore proposals and leave comments. Alternatively it could be used by governments to encourage certain behaviours, promote activities and inform the public of future and current works. The adoption of the Pokegym concept - without the virtual battles - offers councils a mechanism to encourage greater collaboration between citizens both online and face to face. These could be set up as virtual or real spaces to facilitate discussions on key issues or even to bring people together to tackle community projects.
Hanke, Nianitc’s CEO, in his interview with UK Business Insider states that: “Ingress was always intended to be a proof of concept to show ways in which Niantic’s software could help outside parties,” and with Pokemon Go increasing the interest in mobile location-oriented experience, it would appear that local authorities should begin to explore how gaming can offer them new ways to deliver services and connect with citizens both on and offline.
For those blog readers who are not Pokemon Masters, here is an overview of the most common terms:
Pokemon - Created by Nintendo in Japan, Pokemon which means "pocket monster” in Japanese are creatures that gamers can capture and train. In this version of the game there are 250 to collect.
Pokespot – A place where you can find Pokemon or items to help you catch them
Pokegym - Spaces where you can battle your Pokemon against another teams' Pokemon