Back in the 1990s, nobody would have thought of associating the fanciful Pokémons with the idea of sustainability. But since the Pocket Monsters, as they’re known in Japan, live alongside us, they have to face and deal with modern-day problems just as we do. Their creator, Nintendo, is giving them yet another task to inspire people to safeguard the planet during Sustainability Week.
The trendy augmented reality game, Pokémon Go, uses GPS to transform your smartphone into a pocket monster-catcher. The game prompts you to move around and catch different Pokémon that come in all the shapes of dragons, dinosaurs, snakes, rats, and even swords and eggs and are deceptively powerful.
Your role as a ‘trainer’ is to catch and train them for battles. You can find these virtual creatures literally anywhere while riding the subway to work or taking a bathroom break.
The game was developed through a partnership between Nintendo, Pokémon’s original maker, and Niantic, a San Francisco-based augmented reality game designer. Pokémon Go’s Sustainability Week, running from April 20-25 is aligned with the Niantic Sustainability Campaign to protect the environment and raise awareness of global warming.
Trainers are being incentivized to perform a variety of field research tasks during Sustainability Week. They are also looking forward to the release of two new Pokémon: Binacle and Barbaracle.
“There are also two new shiny forms available during Sustainability Week,” according to The Gamer. “Everyone’s favorite trash Pokemon, Trubbish and Garbodor, will be available in their shiny variants throughout the week. Catch shiny Trubbish in the wild and evolve it to get the shiny Garbodor.”
The company has also incorporated real-world components into the initiative. It will incentivize players to pick up trash, plant trees, walk instead of driving, and volunteer with local environmental agencies. They need to post a picture and description on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with the hashtag #SustainableWithNiantic and tag @NianticLabs to claim their rewards.
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