The job posting that launched Pokémon Go
Google is known for its annual April Fools’ Day pranks. But the recent success (that might be the understatement of the century) of Pokémon Go has some people wondering if their 2014 “prank” was less a joke and more a real posting for the coolest job ever: Pokémon Master.
Most people who saw that video (and the date on the calendar) probably laughed a little and went on with their day; for serious gamers and Pokémon fanatics, it just might have been the chance of a lifetime. A little more than two years later, Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game that looks a lot like Google’s April Fools’ video, has launched. (This isn’t just a coincidence – Niantic, the company behind the game, started as an incubator within Google.)
Even though the game isn’t (officially) available in Canada yet, it’s already a phenomenon, and wanna-be players are desperate to get their hands on it. Some are even hacking their iOS to get around the geographic restrictions. In the game, players use their phones to find and catch Pokémon hidden in real geographic settings, combining “real life” with a digital layer to create an immersive gaming experience.
Pokémon Go launched last week in the US, Australia, and New Zealand, and has caught the attention of 90s kids turned 2016 adults, whose inner eight-year-olds seem to be going absolutely crazy at the re-introduction of their favourite childhood franchise. Seriously, it’s like the most sugar-fuelled, all-day and all-night video game binge-fest ever.
Aside from the career lesson we’ve just learned, which is to take every job posting seriously in case it leads to your dream career, the Pokémon Go craze does have something to teach us about work: grown-ups with grown-up jobs face grown-up consequences, even when a rare Pokémon is on the line (and on your desk).
— Naomi Safir (@the_bio_blonde) July 12, 2016
Already, reports of gamers who have transformed their offices into Pokémon hunting grounds have started to come out. One redditor had his iPhone confiscated and is facing serious action after accidentally breaching security protocol by using his camera in the office. Another wannabe Pokémon Go-er started an International flame war and lost his job after insulting the entirety of Singapore (which, like Canada, doesn’t yet have access to the game).
Of course, some jobs and offices are undoubtedly more gamer-friendly than others, so if you’re a serious gamer you might consider a career switch. While you’ve missed Google’s original Pokémon Master deadline, Niantic is hiring. There your high score will clearly be an asset, not a liability.