Pokemon Legends: Arceus looks amazing and Gen 9 is likely right around the corner, but if you ask me which Pokemon game I’m most excited about, it’s definitely Pokemon Sleep. There’s nothing I love more than Pokemon besides sleeping. They might be even, if I’m being honest.
We don’t know much about Pokemon Sleep yet, but the concept is promising enough. I hope Pokemon takes the concept of gamifying healthy behavior and runs wild with it. If it were up to me, there’d be a Pokemon game for every aspect of life: sleep, hygiene, fitness, diet, chores, work, socializing – you name it, I want to play a Pokemon game about it. I’m old enough to know that the passive benefits of living a healthy life don’t mean shit to me. I need Pikachu to tell me I’m doing a good job. Give me Poke-points for being a good boy. I’m serious.
This kind of thing already exists, just without the Pokemon themes. Productivity apps like LifeRPG and Habitca turn the monotony of everyday life into a game where you earn experience and level up by completing tasks, while exercise games like Google Fit and Fitbit turn working out into a competitive PvP experience. Actual fitness video games like Ring Fit Adventure and Wii Fit take that concept even further, while VR is leaning heavily into fitness with apps like BoxVR, VirZoom, and VZFit. People who play games are already intrinsically motivated by progression loops and achievement scores, so naturally those same gameplay systems can be used to help people live healthier lives. It’s been done plenty of times, but it’s never really been done by Pokemon.
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Pokemon Go is the obvious example, but other than tracking distance traveled for egg hatches, it isn’t a particularly effective fitness app. It requires you to walk long distances and constantly interact with it, so it isn’t good for workout routines. We need a true exercise game like Ring Fit Adventure. I imagine it taking place somewhere like the Veilstone Gym in Diamond & Pearl. Using the Ring-Con, players could train with different Fighting-type Pokemon like Machamp and Lucario to earn belts. A Pokemon wearable like a Fitbit would be great as well. Couple that with a Pokemon Fit app that lets you compete to achieve fitness goals with your friends. Why am I giving these ideas away for free?
Exercising is just the most obvious way Pokemon could help us gamify our lives. When I say I want a Pokemon game for everything, I mean everything. I want a diet app where Snorlax tracks my calories, a task app where Mr. Mime helps me keep track of the chores I need to do, and a meditation app where Meditite helps me find my center. I want to earn points and level up for reading books, cleaning the toilet, and calling my mom. I want a Pokemon app that gives me credit for playing Pokemon games. I want Pokemon Oil Change. I want Pokemon Poop and Pee.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching every Pokemon movie, it’s that life is easier with a Pokemon by your side. Whether you're a precocious tween or the CEO of a global crime organization, Pokemon always see us as our best selves. A Pokemon will always believe in you and be by your side no matter what. If I could have a become by my side encouraging me along every day – even virtually – my life would feel a lot more manageable.
People think the multiverse is going to be shitty avatars and virtual business meetings, but it’s not. Augmenting reality with task-managing apps and gamifying everyday life is the real next step in our digital lives, and nothing would make me happier than to see that world be full of Pokemon.
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