Imagine this conversation two years ago, no, two months ago, no, just last week:
So, I rushed home and told my wife that there was a lure at the church and we need to go before the time ran out. She grabbed her phone and we went down the street to the Stop at the church and saw a lot of people in the parking lot. This was going to be great. So we stayed for a while, dropping incense, grabbing some loot from the Stop, and capturing all the critters that spawned. And you know, it was right next to a Gym! We saw the gym go from Blue to Red to Yellow and back to Blue with a beefed up Vaporeon at the top. It was awesome. Anyway, someone else dropped another lure but we needed to head home ’cause, well, dinner was ready, so we reluctantly said goodbye to the crowd and went home.
Darn, Pokemon Go is fun.
If you’ve played the game you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t you’re probably wondering whether “dropping incense” is similar to the sixties phrase “dropping acid”. (It’s not.) In the space of no more than a couple of weeks, Pokemon Go has entered the culture of 30 countries and has changed how people talk, interact and behave.
Talk. New words have now entered the English language and old words have slightly different meaning. PokeStop – A place to pick up various items used in Pokemon Go. You can visit the same PokeStop every five minutes to get new items.
Interact. People are using Pokemon Go as the first step in, gasp, talking to other people. Imagine going someplace and realizing that everyone standing around with their phones is doing the same thing you are. You now have the starting point for a conversation. And if the other person is cute? Bonus points.
Behave. To collect Pokemon, to get more items, you need to travel. You need to go from Point A to Point B. People are walking. For instance here is a before and after picture of a typical pokemon player:
OK, that’s kind of an exageration, but just think of all the walking that is being done! My wife did her 10,000 steps for the day before we even went out for dinner on Tuesday night (daughter’s birthday dinner) and we walked around afterwards to the local PokeStop. There are lots of stories of people discovering that they can indeed walk. There are lots of stories of people going “I didn’t know that this was in my neighbourhood!”.
A single application made this change. Granted, it was an excellent idea taking the game and making it “real”, but the changes in behaviour and society are remarkable. Things can change quickly. Very quickly. So, why do we spend twelve, fifteen, eighteen months designing and building something to specs that were old before we even started. We need to be flexible. We need to be able to adapt. We need to understand that the world around us is changing and that we need to change to survive.