What makes “Pokémon Go” so unique is that you have to move around to play it.
Unlike “Call of Duty” or “Candy Crush,” the entire game relies on the player travelling in the physical world, hunting down pokémon, visiting pokestops, battling at gyms. If you stay still, it just doesn’t work.
Depressingly — but predictably — people are already figuring out ways to get around this.
Some people are hopping on trains and buses to try and trick the app into thinking they’re really moving. But there is also a cottage industry springing up taking advantage of lazy pokémon fans: “Pokémon drivers.”
It’s like Uber, for Pokémon.
For a fee, a pokémon driver will chauffeur players around their city at a pace slow enough to make the app think they are walking, visiting known good spots for collecting pokémon and checking in at gyms and pokestops.
For just $30 per hour, Nick Soh will drive you and up to four of your friends around the New York suburbs in his Toyota Rav4 Sport — providing charging cables and even “lure modules” to attract more pokémon to your location.
(He — like the many other pokémon drivers out there — advertises his business on Craiglist.)
Soh has driven four groups around so far over the last few days, including one on Tuesday night, he told Business Insider.
“They reached reached out around seven pm and I picked up two girls and one guy at upper east and drove them around for an hour,” he wrote via email about his last group. “There are ponytas in Central Park so we spent some time there and also caught pikachu on the FDR. It is always an enjoyable time because they’re able to get new and rare pokemon that aren’t around their neighbourhood and everyone’s excited.”
“Pokémon Go” is far easier if you have a car, he says — “just don’t play while you are driving, have someone else do it for you … You get to zoom through pokestops and can adapt a rotation, so you will be levelling up much faster. Also you can go to locations where pokemon reside.”
With a group of you, it’s a pretty good deal: A few dollars an hour for access to the best pokémon in your city, and far more opportunities for battles and items than you’d have on foot.
But what happens if you’re so lazy you don’t even want to play the game yourself? Don’t worry, some enterprising Pokémon fans have you covered.
Welcome to the future: “Pokémon egg hatching” is now a real job.
In London, Narcis Radoi is selling his services as an “egg hatcher.”
In “Pokémon Go,” you can collect eggs, which only hatch once you’ve walked a certain distance (2km, 5km, or 10km). But if you don’t want to exert yourself, you can pay Radoi and give him your phone, and he will walk the required distance himself.
And as an added bonus, he will catch for you any pokémon that pop up along the way.
He charges £5 for a 10km egg, £3 for a 5km egg, and £1 for a 2km egg. Business hasn’t been booming so far, Radoi told Business Insider. Only two people have paid him for his services so far — likely due to security concerns: “Not a lot of people are willing to hand you their phone..haha.”
But he thinks the market for these kinds of jobs is only going to get bigger as augmented reality technology becomes more popular. “I think there is a future in jobs like this,” he said. This “might not be it just yet.. but with things like location-[detecting beacons] and shops using [Pokémon Go] to advertise to people using lures.”
If your next job is in augmented reality — you may have Pokémon to thank for it.
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