Pokemon Go bigger than Brexit

Ok, let’s face it. Pokemon Go has made its way to be in everyone’s conversation at some point in the last couple of months, but it is not just the fact that people are talking about it, millions of people are playing it and loving it. I’ve been on the reluctant side of joining in, thinking it’s just another silly game making people waste away their lives by spending more time in front of a screen.

Pokemon Opera House

One night I decided to give it a go and find out what was so attractive about it, apart from the fact that everyone was already saying it will make you go out and walk and meet other people. Really?  Is the world already at that point that you need a computer game to take you out, exercise and talk to others? This doesn’t sound right or does it? Well, I downloaded the game with such bad luck that the first Pokemon to catch was inside my baby’s bedroom (there’s no way I’ll go inside her room at 8:30pm when she’s finally sleeping) so that was it. That was the end of Pokemon Go for me….it didn’t make me go out, so it was an aborted mission in the first 2 min.

But I did my research. I now know about the gyms and poke-stops and hatching eggs and that you need to get up to level 5 to be able to be part of a team (blue, yellow or red.) Pokemon Go has captured users’ and people’s attention everywhere in the world, for good or for bad, and even now that all the talk seems to be reduced to the number of users in iOS, and Android, it is still there and is soon coming with a new improved version.

Well …I still needed to find a useful purpose for Pokemon Go, so I started imagining other applications for Pokemon Go that would appear to be more useful to human needs and behaviours and to my surprise I found some pretty amazing stuff going on around Pokemon Go in the not for profit space where I work (click to read about how Charities are using Pokemon Go) – so now I had a real reason to get into the phenomenon.


In Australia The Wilderness Society has become a PokeStop – giving gamers an opportunity to learn more about their cause. And Volunteering Australia have taken the initiative to create the Burnie Pokemon GO Walk where gamers can get outdoors and join them on 4th October 4 2016. https://www.facebook.com/events/1466100013420059/

Pokemon Stats

It’s clear though that over the last couple of months Pokemon Go has been one of the most attractive and successful app-based games in the market. It has managed to capture more  than 55 million users and is currently ranking 4th  in total app time spent on its first month since its release according to ComScore. 


Pokemon Go has made a big impact into our active society. Everyone has had something to do or say about Pokemon Go since it came up onto the market in June- July 2016. It has got gamers out to the “real” world and now after couple of months it’s easy to see that even though the number of users has declined, the game is still keenly played and there are still many who have never played but would find it enjoyable if there was a designated purpose for it. It could be designed to be an active or passive (competitive or non-competitive) activity.

This really is a phenomenon. Nearly 1 in 2 Australians have had some participation in the game (either as players or accompanying players) with the majority between 18-34 years. https://dejanseo.com.au/pokemon/

As you can see from the Google Trends graphs below, in the UK from mid June to mid July 2016, Pokemon Go had more searches than Brexit, whilst in Australia the only topic with more searches in June/ July was the past federal election.

PokemonVs brexit

Pokemon Vs Electionday


So, yes Pokemon Go is a big app-based phenomenon and I’ve decided to keep an eye on it to see if there are any more interesting uses for it.

Therefore, I promise my next blog will come with some ideas for non-profits to use it as part of their digital engagement. I’m sure we can find a way to get new donations while spending a day “catching ’em all” .