How the world's hottest mobile game is inspiring people to mix business with pleasure.
Photo Credit: JD Hancock
Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm since it was released in July 2016. In only a few weeks, it was installed on more devices than LinkedIn, and was being played more often than people use Facebook or Twitter.
Anything so popular is going to have an impact on people's lives, and even their careers. Employees have already been fired for playing while working, including dangerously while driving a public bus.
Yeah, don't do that.
On the flip side, here are some of the creative ways Pokémon Go players and fans have begun making a living from their favorite game, doing jobs that can be done remotely from anywhere in the world, even in countries where the game hasn't officially been released yet.
1) Account sellers
British Law graduate Sophia Pedraza quit her job as a private tutor making US$2,600 monthly to play the game full-time.
“To accumulate multiple phones so she can level up a bunch of accounts and sell them on eBay for more than $1,300.”
2) Account builders
Similarly, there are companies and regular people looking to hire freelancers to grow Pokémon accounts for them. They will literally pay you to play!
In the UK, you can earn £40 (about US$53) per hour to catch monsters for your clients, or you can set up shop on freelance marketplaces by offering to catch Pokémon for an hourly or fixed fee, such as on PeoplePerHour.
In India, a company is looking to hire a full-time ‘official Pokémon catcher' with a monthly starting salary of ₹25,000 (about US$373).
New Zealand barista and bartender Dave Currie quit his job to take a Pokémon Go vacation, touring his country while hunting for monsters to catch. He's not the only one either.
He did so well that a few days after the above YouTube clip was posted, he received a job offer: “a gaming company in the US has offered me a job to be a professional Pokémon Go coach, which would entail me doing Skype calls with players from all over the world who wish to get tips from me and get ahead.”
What if you love the game but don't want to make a career out of it?
While you can network with other trainers at PokéStops and Gyms, the chances of that leading to a job aren't very high.
On Fiverr, sellers are offering to photoshop or draw you as a Pokémon trainer and sell you Pokémon Go tip guides.
On Craigslist, people are offering to drive or SAIL you around while you play, take you to places where specific monsters tend to be found, or run a Pokémon Go-themed party for you.
On Upwork, freelancers will do Pokémon Go-related designs, write related articles, even create related mobile apps.
A few dedicated Pokémon Go marketplaces have sprung up, such as Pokemondo and in the Sythe forums, where you can sell and buy services like the ones above and more.
Then there's this:
The game's creator Niantic is also looking to hire thanks to the game's popularity:
In India, Microsoft is using the game to recruit developers:
The US Navy is getting in on the act:
Job seekers are mentioning the game in interviews:
Around the world, there's even a growing stereotype that Pokémon Go players are all unemployed slackers:
But I completely agree with this:
Have you ever been tempted to quit your job to play a game, travel or follow some other passion? Tell us in the comments.
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