Why Commercial Landscaping Clients Should Care About Pokemon Go

Why Commercial Landscaping Clients Should Care About Pokemon Go

Seriously. You should pay attention to this thing. Give me three minutes and I’ll tell you why.

Pokemon Go has received an absolutely ridiculous amount of attention in the two weeks since its release.

It’s the number one app on both iOS and Android and reports show that in the days since its release it has had more active users than both Twitter and Facebook. While almost everyone seems to admit that it’s a passing fad, the lasting implications of Pokemon Go are starting to become apparent for a lot of commercial landscaping clients.

If you’re in commercial property management, or you work in public parks and recreation, let me try to explain why you should care about Pokemon Go (and all the other copycat games and apps that are about to follow it).

So, let me start with a brief introduction to what Pokemon Go is, because if you’re like me, you heard about it and immediately dismissed it as the internet’s latest flavor of the week.

The game is played on a smartphone, looking through your phone’s camera viewfinder. On your screen these little characters randomly appear and you tap your screen to throw a ball at them in order to earn points. (Full disclosure: this is a description written by a guy who has never actually played the game.)

For the commercial landscaping client, the game’s actually not that important. It’s the people playing the game that you should care about.

The game isn’t like a typical video game in the sense that it’s not designed to be played at home. It’s designed to be played in public places like parks, shopping centers, and other commercial properties where groups of game players can gather together. This means that if you’re a commercial property manager or work for a local parks and recreation department, your properties and public spaces are getting a lot more visitors walking around with their eyes glued to their phones.

The game’s mapping data intentionally draws people to public spaces and prominent local landmarks. Eventually, a retailer will be able to pay to make their business a destination where game players can earn extra points with characters that can only be found at their location. This ability to quickly cash in on the popularity of the game is why Pokemon Go is the first of many, many games that will use this kind of technology.

There are two immediate concerns that might be going through your mind as a property management professional.

First, with all of these distracted game players walking around my property, what’s going to happen when one of them trips and falls? If they trip over an exposed tree root or poke their eye on a low hanging tree branch, are they going to sue?

Second, is there anything I can do to get these people to put down their phones and enjoy the green spaces that I’ve been working so hard to create?

As a commercial landscaping company, we believe there are real benefits to getting people outdoors again and interested in enjoying the green spaces we build and manage for our clients. If Pokemon Go and the other games that will follow can get people off the couch, then we should give them beautiful and safe spaces to visit – even if they are staring at their iPhones. Some of them may never look up to see what’s around them. But, for the ones that do, shouldn’t we give them something remarkable to look at?


Photo credit: Polygon

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