It seems that everyone in England is suddenly a Pokémon trainer. You can’t go anywhere without bumping into someone staring at their phone and suddenly stopping in their tracks to throw Pokéballs at something on their screen.
You’ve surely heard of Pokémon Go these past few weeks. It’s been everywhere. But if you have yet to try it, or have no interest in playing it, the free-to-play game basically requires you to walk around staring at your phone screen the entire time. In quite possibly the biggest example of augmented reality in mobile gaming, the game uses your phone’s GPS and camera to show Pokémon displayed in your real-world location. For example, Pikachu in the bathtub with you, Golbat at your local cinema theatre, and Pokémon everywhere else all over the world. As you’re walking around the real world, you have to be looking out for nearby Pokémon on your screen. With only your phone’s camera to tell you to side-step that lamp post. When you find one, you throw a Pokéball at it on your screen to capture it for your collection.
Many businesses are jumping on the bandwagon to use Pokémon GO as part of their local marketing strategy, to gain more visibility. Those local businesses lucky enough to be listed as a PokéStop in the game are making the most of the increased foot traffic by offering deals and discounts for those playing the game. “Pokémon lures” are also available at an additional cost to lure more Pokémon into your area, which also has a tendency of luring many Pokémon players too who are hunting for these Pokémon.
So, of course naturally, someone in the industry was bound to start providing Pokémon GO insurance.
A British gadget insurance firm has launched the world’s first Pokédex insurance. (Your Pokédex being your phone, rather than an actual Pokédex.)
They have stated:
Taking up the challenge of becoming a Pokémon Go trainer and becoming the very best like no one ever was is undoubtedly important, but don’t forget to defend your Pokédex.
Since its release, millions of people have enjoyed a sense of adventure in the game, surpassing Twitter on number of daily active users. But there will always be the minority looking to ruin it for everyone else. In the news, we’ve read stories about muggers lurking around secluded PokéStops, waiting for the Pokémon GO players to come along. These players will tend to have their expensive smartphone held in front of them in one hand, making them an easy target as a mugger need only grab it and run. Due to this, there have been a number of reported incidents of phone thefts in PokéStops.
Additionally, due to the player’s phone having to constantly be out to play the game, this can lead to an increased risk of damage. You’re more likely to drop your phone when you’re constantly holding it, instead of it being in your pocket or bag. Some players are even climbing over fences and walls to catch Pokémon, phone in one hand, in which case they may damage the phone whilst climbing, or fall out of their pocket if they’re not holding it.
The Pokémon GO insurance firm have assured players of the game that purchasing Pokédex insurance will cover accidental damage, cracked screens, liquid damage in addition to mechanical faults. They have also boasted that in the event of a theft or loss, they are able to get a replacement phone to you within 24 hours so you won’t miss out on any Pokémon GO time.
Despite it being the “world’s first Pokédex insurance”, we can’t help but think that it sounds just like regular, old phone insurance… But they’ve certainly gained a lot of publicity through it! And undoubtedly quite a few new contracts.