5 min read

Measuring the quotable pop culture impact of Pokémon Go

We're a week past the chart-topping U.S. debut of Niantic's AR mobile game Pokémon Go, and the game now seems to have grown into a bit of a public phenomenon -- as evidenced by these quotes.

We're a week past the chart-topping U.S. debut of Niantic's augmented-reality mobile game Pokémon Go, and the game now seems to have grown into a bit of a public phenomenon.

Most notably, it's spurred police departments across the U.S. to issue safety warnings to people playing the game in public and garnered attention from politicians, business owners, celebrities and thieves.

While it's yet unclear how long the game will maintain this level of public interest, what is clear is that many, many people have an affinity for Pokémon -- and that likely accounts for why this free-to-play, location-based AR game has taken off in a way that none of its predecessors did.

In an effort to help devs better understand the broad impact of Niantic's latest game, we've taken the liberty of rounding up interesting quotes about Niantic's latest game from notable folks around the world. 

"For the city, it is not easy to promote what the government restricts. But it is a great help for the city's tourism because media continues to report about Sokcho and game manias are promoting Sokcho."

- Lee Se-Moon, an official with the tourism department of South Korean city Sokchu. According to the Associated Press, people can play Pokémon Go in the city even though the game isn't currently available in South Korea, and that has driven a surge in tourism.

"I think at the end of the day the goal is to get as many people through the door and interested in the apartment, and ultimately, if there's a 'Pokémon' obsessed person out there who also likes this home, then we want them here, and this is the best way to attract them."

- Real estate agent Jay Glazer explaining why he's now including phrases like "I'm fairly certain there is a Pikachu at this open house, don't miss it" in his real estate listings.

"Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism. We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game."

- Andrew Hollinger, communication director for the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., speaking to the Washington Post about how the museum is trying to discourage Pokémon Go players from visiting the grounds specifically to play the game.

"I don't, but people are playing it. No question about it. I do not -- I wish I had time."

- U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, speaking to the Washington Examiner about whether or not he's playing Pokémon Go.

"We’re finding that there are thousands of people coming to the National Mall, to play this game, to collect Pokémon, and we know they’re going all over the place — which is great, they’re coming to the park and they’re experiencing that."

- National Mall and Memorial Parks representative Paul Ollig, speaking to Buzzfeed News about how the U.S. National Park Service aims to launch ranger-led park tours that will incorporate time for participants to stop and play Pokémon Go.

"People born in the 1980s and ’90s, they grew up with this. It’s approachable and reassuring and that’s why it’s gone from zero to millions of users in just a few days. I see McDonald’s, Home Depot, national brands playing into the culture."

- Jeremiah Rosen, managing director at New York creative agency Reason2Be, speaking to Fortune about the game's potential to be co-opted as a marketing tool.

"The game, when it loads up on the screen, says to be cautious of your surroundings. Strongly follow that advice."

- Marine Corps veteran Seth Ortega, speaking to the L.A. Times after he and a roommate went out to a park to play Pokémon Go and inadvertently helped catch a man wanted on suspicion of attempted murder.

"Gotta Reg 'em all! Pokemon Go is the best thing to happen to voter registration ever."

- A tweet from a political activist and supporter of U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, accompanied by photos of voter registration teams setting up shop near the real-world locations of in-game Pokémon Go hubs in an effort to capture players and get them registered to vote.

"Pokémon GO has the best emote system available: the human body. It has the most elegant and all consuming chat system ever: smartphones for tells and local voice with full presence for local chat. It has the most detailed and highly simulated game map ever, thanks to the real world. We are seeing amazing social activity happening, amazing bursts of joy, across the world.

But we should absolutely expect everything that happened in MMOs to happen here, because AR is an MMO."

In a recent blog post veteran game designer Raph Koster deconstructs the widespread appeal of Pokémon Go and outlines how it shares much in common, design-wise, with MMO games.

"Come down to the Muncie Animal Shelter to walk one of our dogs while you get your steps in! Just come to the front desk and say you are here for the Pokemon dogs!"

A post on the Facebook page of the Muncie Animal Shelter in Muncie, Indiana encouraging Pokémon Go players to help the shelter walk some of its adoptable dogs.

"Join us as we go to the Pokestop in Madison Park and put up a lure module, get free pokemon, & battle each other while you register voters and learn more about Sec. Hillary Clinton!!! Kids welcome!"

- A post today on U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's official website, calling for Pokémon Go players to visit a campaign stop this weekend in Lakewood, Ohio.

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