Teaching Kids About Money and Business with Pokemon Go!

pokemon go

I began playing Pokemon Go out of curiosity. There were a lot of headlines surrounding the new phenomenon, and I wanted to experience first-hand what it was about. As I played, I became enthusiast and began writing about the game’s obvious health benefits and how it encompasses the future of mobile applications. Since I’ve been playing for a while now, I’ve observed some other subtle rewards that reinforce my appreciation for the game: most notably, Pokemon Go teaches players (hopefully young players) about money. The game is both a model for how to how to manage money and promote business.

Pokestops Introduce the Concept Of Work For Pay

Pokestops are where you go to get more supplies. When you reach a Pokestop, you spin the wheel and it releases a few assets like Pokeballs, incense, potions and lures. These are similar to working because you have to do something to receive something. You also have to wait five minutes between payouts, so you can’t just spin infinitely and load up. And when your inventory of Pokeballs and such gets low, you must return to Pokestops. Then you can go hunting some more, but must return to work the wheel if you want more resources.

PokeGyms And Passive Income

A PokeGym is a specific location that has a particular digital structure where players can come and battle their Pokemon against each other. When a gym is taken and kept for several hours, the player who occupies the gym earns coins and resources without even being present. This is like developing an investment strategy where you earn a passive income through interest or the growth of stock.

Budgeting Your Backpack

Additionally, the game has an implicit lesson about budgeting, resource management and spending which could develop a child’s understanding of financial planning and accounting principles.

Introduction Into Digital Currency

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An interesting part of the game is that it is digital and has its own digital currency. As new inventions like Bitcoin roll out, there are lessons that we are learning about digital currency. Bitcoin is digital, distributed and completely confounding to most people. But playing a game like Pokemon Go makes the idea of digital currency more and more understandable. In addition, our everyday digital currency are credit cards and debit cards.  They are ethereal and intangible forms of currency – you give a card number, you don’t hand over actual dollars. By playing Pokemon Go the issues that surround digital currency can be worked out in the real economy and with gameplay, improving the stability of future money.  

Budgeting Your Backpack Items & Money Management

pokemon backpack

Implicit in the game is the idea that you are learning how to spend your resources. In the game you have various assets (Pokeballs, Incense, Razzberries) that you use to participate in the game. Players carry these assets in their backpack, which has a limited capacity. And if you run out of say Pokeballs (the device used to trap the monsters) you are left incapable of capturing more monsters until you acquire more resources. So as you play you must be aware that acquiring more Pokeballs is necessary i.e. earning. As with money, once you have them, you don’t want to squander them.

Business Marketing And Lures

pokestop

A lure attracts an increased amount of monsters to a Pokestop.  Players can put a lure out at a Pokestop to attract monsters to catch which then increases their success in the game.  If your child is budding entrepreneur, this is a great lesson that you actually have to do something to bring in traffic. In the game, you can’t just stand around and hope to find a monster, and in business, you can’t just stand around hoping that clients will find you. You have to do something to bring them in.

And here’s an extra marketing tip for all you adult business owners: 

A lure can be purchased by your business for about a dollar an hour (depending on how you purchase your coins) and attracts an increased amount of monsters to a location, which attracts Pokemon Go players. This could be especially beneficial to, say, a pizza by the slice restaurant. If you can get players near your place with the promise of more and exotic pocket monsters, there is a greater chance people will buy something. This is particularly true if your place is filled with smells of delicious, inexpensive food. Pokemon Go is driving an insane amount of traffic to some businesses that are at or near Pokestops.

No Shortcut to Success

There is a temptation to spend loads of money because you must catch them all. But the desire for a shortcut is soon exposed as unnecessary and doesn’t replace the intrinsic aspect of the game: you must GO. Like real life, you must work to earn. You can’t sit on your couch and expect money to roll in. With the game, it eventually becomes understood that there are no shortcuts to success. The required legwork is necessary.

Pokemon Go has become a phenomenon. It is a fun game that gets people out walking around and socializing. It’s exciting that it also has some side benefits, and I suspect that implicitly teaching players about money and business count among them. And even if they don’t teach the lessons directly, they provide a platform for teachers and parents to teach children about money and business.

Written by Jerry Mooney

Written by Jerry Mooney