With Niantic’s successful release of Pokémon GO in Canada this past weekend, it’s time to reacquaint ourselves with the wonderful world of Pikachu and Poké Balls and legendary quests. “Welcome back,” Millennials and generations galore, as The Pokémon Company reels us in and steals our hearts once again.
Pokémon began as a Game Boy game in the late 1990’s that allowed each player to embark on a journey towards “Pokémon Master” status — catching, training and building kindred bonds with a variety of fictional creatures (i.e. Pokémon). Through combining iPhone and Android systems with augmented reality, Pokémon GO brings the Pokémon universe into our own.
Pokémon GO is an internationally innovative phenomenon, as it brings thousands–perhaps millions–of Pokémon enthusiasts closer to this beloved universe than ever before. In short, Pokémon GO app users create an avatar whose onscreen appearance and movements reflect the player’s activity in the real world. Players open the app and engage with Pokémon that are merged into their camera-supported immediate surroundings; ultimately appearing onscreen.
As new developments and updates are bound to happen, let’s brainstorm some fun features that are not yet available in Pokémon GO. What other Poké stuff would you like to see reinvigorated with Pokémon GO?
Game Boy and Nintendo DS Pokémon games have a “Mail” feature that is structurally akin to direct mail solutions. Pokémon Mail is designed as an item that Pokémon can physically hold in order to store and exchange messages with other players. Similar to direct mail materials in the real world, Pokémon Mail is characterized by an envelope symbol in the game. Trainers can even use stylized letterhead, such as Flower Mail, Music Mail and Surf Mail templates to convey specific themes and emotions. All of these characteristics resonate with direct mail communications in the real world, as they seek to enhance, secure and materialize targeted messages.
As smart phone users worldwide wait eagerly to see what new developments Pokémon GO will roll out, perhaps we will see Pokémon Mail reinvigorated. Wouldn’t it be fun to browse through a library of Poké-themed letterhead, envelopes and postage stamps that you can bundle as Poké Mail? Imagine if Niantic reincorporated this feature as a creative tool for Pokémon GO messaging, or a perhaps “Poké Postal”! Regardless of nostalgic joys and wishful thoughts, spotting direct mail in fantasy worlds is always a nod to the power and influence of direct mail services; “the very best” solution.