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Got to Catch Them All? Pokémon Go and Augmented Reality in Your Local Community

by Jessica Terashima
Post Date:07/14/2016

The augmented reality (AR) app that’s riveted the nation has also created new opportunities and headaches for communities across the nation. Pokémon Go has gotten folks off the couch and into the nation’s parks, shopping districts and monuments – not to mention parking lots, alleys and backyards.The Pokémon craze has exposed safety and security concerns, raised questions about appropriate play locations and opened the door to new business opportunities, begging the questions – how should local government agencies react?

In a recent article NextGov describes the National Weather Service trying to keep players away from sensitive equipment, while National Park Service rangers have been conducting “Poketours” at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. . Police and firefighters nationwide have had to quickly adjust to strange groups of loiterers, and sometimes trespassers, showing up in droves at random locations. It’s hard to say how long this game will stay hot, but it could open the door to similar augmented reality games in the future. 


Here’s how some Vision customers have used social media to try to make the most of the trend, while encouraging players to stay safe. 

Keeping Citizens Safe

The City of Oklahoma City, OK produced a humorous and helpful “Poketiquette” video to help local players stay safe and sane while playing. 


Showcasing Local Attractions

Cities like Hanover Township, IL and Mesa, AZ use their social media channels to drive players to their community's local attractions, which also happen to be “Pokestops” and “PokemonGo Gyms.” 



Boosting Local Business

The City of West Hollywood, CA also has its fair share of Pokestops and Gyms, and uses social media to help nearby businesses make the most of the new foot-traffic. 


Basking in the Spotlight

City hall isn’t usually a place where people go to have fun, but the City of West Covina’s has become a hotbed of Poke-activity. The city touts its city hall attractions on social media, while also encouraging players to stay safe. 



Looking to the Future

The Pokémon Go craze may fade in time, but technology that has fueled it will certainly continue to evolve. In addition to preparing for new, sometimes strange challenges that AR may bring, communities can take the opportunity to be a fun and helpful partner to gamers. Social media provides the perfect channel for local governments to make that positive connection. Check out our recent social media webinar to see how leaders are making the most of this communication channel.

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