A slightly humorous, but lightly serious/hopeful analysis of the Pokémon Go craze’s potential impact on job growth
Phenomenon, fad, craze, trend – call it what you want, but according to Moore’s Law it’s likely that when it involves technology, these words demarcate a new frontier and the beginning of making what’s possible more accessible to a greater number of users.
The benefits of applying the typical elements of game playing to the Recruitment industry has already delivered more frequent and varied employee engagement channels, virtual reality assessment methodology, workforce compliance and upskilling automation. Pokémon Go is set to take this further if the number of people young and old embrace the interactive and virtual environment experience.
It’s fitting it’s a ‘game’ that’s getting a sedentary sector of society more active, counterbalancing the stigma the gaming industry has suffered to date. The social benefits of moderate engagement in interactive and social media have been championed by organisations whose purpose is to promote Public Safety announcements, Public Transport updates and more. We are all more aware, better informed and in a unique position to leverage what may be seen as ‘fun’ to achieve and access more knowledge and choice.
So if our society is ready to ‘play’, games and applications like Pokémon Go could have a positive impact on our ever-maligned unemployment rate by stimulating industries in ways we may not have considered….
1. ICT & Call Centre
We predict increased Telco Call Centre customer service staff will be needed to handle higher volume billing queries following increased data usage, and a need for more in-store device optimisation support as gamers seek to get more bang for their data bucks and front up to their local outlet whilst cruising for Pokémon.
We also dare to hope the demand for improved network performance will up the ante for Telco technical R&D to remain competitive! And we imagine developer ‘hives’ exploring possible re-applications of this concept on drone technology, other games and business-to-consumer apps.
2. Allied Health Services
Reports of injuries sustained by gamers immersed in their devices whilst traversing the real world leads us to predict that GP medical treatment for unexpected injuries that physiotherapy and chiropractic services may also surge.
Optometrists and specs manufacturers may also have a field day as small-screen focus to do more and more of our tasks, combined with dim lighting may result in poorer vision and increased need for optical aids!
3. Community Development, Retail, and Tourism
Gamer events and forums have started bringing people out into the parks, malls and shops in their search of their quarry – providing trickle through effects as they decide to grab a bottle of water, pick up some groceries, have lunch at a café or even do their household errands while they’re at it.
Players (and businesses) can buy “lures” that ‘spawn’ Pokémon for all players, driving foot traffic and providing a subtle ‘marketing tool’ to the local vendor savvy enough to cash in. And with the current Census taking methods under scrutiny, it might not be impossible that drone technology enhanced with Pokémon Go-esque capabilities is considered for the next one in 2021 after the site crash experienced this year!
4. Urban Planning/Works and Construction/Renovation
Local councils have probably already experienced increased issues reported through text and web portals (by gamers who’ve tripped while chasing a rare Pokémon!). With more people using public spaces and ‘demanding’ access to Wi-Fi for gaming and other communication technology whilst out and about will generate a need for “future-proofing” our environment to allow optimal connectivity and access to related facilities in urban community areas.
Extended to domestic lifestyle, this concept could overhaul builders and renovators’ dreams by allowing them to insert images of fittings, furniture and fixtures from suppliers into a visual demonstration of their home – cutting out the middle man in the store but replacing it with an app developer and system administrator somewhere else of their choosing (see point 5. Freelancing below)
5. Freelancing (e.g. Airtasker, Uber, Serviceseeking et. al)
Companies like eBay, Gumtree, Airbnb and Airtasker will find a way to use this new technology concept to enhance their platforms by offering individuals better visual engagement to sell their wares or demonstrate their expertise – imagine requesting a virtual tour of your Airbnb accommodation choice, or to view an Airtasker’s previous handiwork before booking them to fix your leaky tap?
This growing ‘economy’ is spreading across many sub-sectors and is already experiencing a surge in up-takers opting out of traditional workplace environments – and will be further perpetuated by adoption of further interactive technology concepts that allow them the same ‘reach’ as a storefront and website might.
There are loads of other industries that may experience benefit (think community engagement projects where unemployed but technology savvy youth offer tutelage to the ageing population, helping them access more services more easily), but one thing is for sure –technology is permeating every aspect of our lives, so you may as well embrace all the benefits that come with it!