If you’ve been out in a public during the past few weeks, you’ve likely noticed people roaming around, with eyes glued to their mobile phones. Most likely, they were playingPokémonGO, which became the biggest mobile game in United States history by its one-week anniversary. With about 21 million daily active users in the US, the game has already surpassed Twitter in number of users.
While Pokémon GO is technically a mobile game, it has real-world elements that could affect your life as an Uber partner. The game uses augmented reality, which means it superimposes computer-generated images onto a user’s view of the real world, and getting to specific real-world places quickly is how users accomplish the objects of the game, including finding characters and using their characters to battle others.
For instance, players try to catch Pokémon characters by finding them, tapping them and throwing “Poké Balls” at them. They also look for “PokéStops” which are physical locations where they can obtain potions or more Poké Balls. They also look for Pokémon Gyms where they can put their characters to the test against others.
As the Pokémon GO phenomenon sweeps the nation—and future augmented reality games are certainly around the corner—here’s what you need to know to stay safe and help your riders have fun:
Because Pokémon GO requires players to be on the move to succeed at the game, not only are many pedestrians distractedly playing the game, but so are other drivers. To stay safe and keep your riders safe, drive with a heightened awareness of others around you who may be distracted.
Frequent Gyms and PokéStops
Every city has its own Pokémon Gyms and PokéStops, and chances are that gamers—who often travel in crowds—need help getting from one Gym to another to advance in the game. Find out where the game locations are in your area and when you’re waiting for your next rider, consider hanging out near one of them. Not only might you help a gamer with a needed ride, you can quickly deliver them to another Pokémon GO hotspot if you’re familiar with other nearby Gyms.
Join the Fun
Even if you’re not much of a gamer, consider downloading Pokémon GO on your own mobile phone to find out what the fuss is all about. You’ll be able to speak the lingo with Pokémon-playing riders: “Are you on the Yellow, Blue or Red team?” “Did you catch that Squirtle?” And you’ll understand the urgency with which a rider may ask you to get him to a PokéStop.
Of course, if you decide to play along, remember to watch where you’re going.