How Pokémon GO is educating players on the SDGs

Pokémon GO players at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by: Dick Thomas Johnson / CC BY

CANBERRA — In July 2016 the release of the augmented reality game Pokémon GO became an immediate social phenomenon, engaging tens of millions of players globally. A year later, the game had been downloaded more than 750 million times and continues today to have a strong user base.

For Niantic, the San Francisco-based software development company behind Pokémon GO, the large global audience provides an opportunity to communicate important social issues and develop change. And promoting an awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals is a social campaign it is strongly behind.

Campaigns for social change, the Pokémon way

In January Niantic built into Pokémon GO a campaign targeting attendees of the World Economic Forum in Davos, encouraging world leaders to continue their focus on, and support of, the delivery of each of the 17 global goals.

In September a permanent update to the game targeted everyday gamers, allowing players to dress their avatars in a Sustainable Development Goals shirt, building awareness and support for the global goals and their impact on the world.

This article is for Devex Members

For full access to the content of the article sign in or join Devex.

About the author

  • %25257b6eb61a8f df39 4ae1 bb29 9056d33aa739%25257d

    Lisa Cornish

    Lisa Cornish is a Devex Reporter based in Canberra, where she focuses on the Australian aid community. Lisa formerly worked with News Corp Australia as a data journalist for the national network and was published throughout Australia in major metropolitan and regional newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph in Melbourne, Herald Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane, and online through Lisa additionally consults with Australian government providing data analytics, reporting and visualization services. Lisa was awarded the 2014 Journalist of the Year by the New South Wales Institute of Surveyors.