It’s no secret that Pokemon GO got gamers from all walks of life out into parks and communities in a way that no other video game has ever been able to pull off. The popularity of the Pokemon brand combined with some serious nostalgia and an app-addicted culture was the perfect recipe for the mobile AR game’s success. Even after being aware of its popularity, looking back on the data from the first year is still shockingly impressive.
One scientific research study lays out how the Pokemon GO community managed to collect more data about the in-game creatures in six days than naturalists have been able to collect about our actual planet’s animals in 400 years. That stat is a little mind-blowing and really begs the question, how can scientists leverage this kind of experience to benefit research in their fields?
The obvious problem is that the majority of the gaming community doesn’t have a strong nostalgic connection with scientific research, so they will never flock to those opportunities in the same way they did to Pokemon GO. However, if researchers can find a way to leverage the AR experience and maybe reskin or gamify the natural environment (through a game interface), there is a chance that the gaming community could help gather data and inform those fields.
Although there may not be an immediate benefit that the Pokemon GO community can contribute to the sciences, it is exciting to think about the potential to leverage all of that walking around and exploring for the great good. We’re just waiting for the right scientists to collaborate with Niantic or the community and make it happen.
Good luck out there, trainers!
Pokemon GO is available now in select regions on Android and iOS devices.
Source: Wiley via Massive