My two worlds collided last week when I was alerted to the fact that Pokemon Go creators Niantic were ‘standing with the global goals’ and were offering free global goals t shirts to every Pokemon Go players avatars.
Now if you are not familiar with either Pokemon Go or the Global Goals, this next bit is for you:
Pokémon Go is a free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. The game was the result of a collaboration between Niantic and Nintendo, by way of The Pokémon Company. Players create and customize their own avatars, which as the player moves within their real world surroundings, their avatars move within the game’s map. The purpose of this is to catch and collect Pokemon which if you were not a 90’s kid probably need their own explanation.
The Global Goals are the 17 aspirational goals established by 193 countries and United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in 2015. The 17 goals cover the world’s greatest challenges and are underpinned by over 100 targets to eradicate poverty, halt climate change and end inequality by 2030.
Now as an avid Pokemon Goer in my spare time, and a sustainable development professional as my day job I did not see this coming! So why have Pokemon Go and The United Nations paired up on this project?
At the last estimate around 65 million people are playing Pokemon Go each month and perhaps unsurprisingly the majority of players are under 30.
The United Nations and World Economic Forum has said before that that young people are crucial in delivering the goals as they are the people that are going to be most challenged by the current status quo, for example unstable work, low wages, education inequality, climate change effects etc…
So what better way to keep the conversation going about the goals amongst young people than by making it a part of well loved and daily signed in game.
Niantic have asked, “We hope everyone will join us in having their avatar wear the Global Goals shirt proudly to show their support and spread awareness for these critically important Goals.”
It may be a little thing but I have to say it has been heartening to see just how many other Pokemon trainers are wearing the Global Goals shirt as I have been out playing the game. Hopefully this is just another little things that pushes the Global Goals into the consciousness of people, and I shall be doing my bit by wearing my shirt proudly!