Pokémon GO – The Latest U-Haul Craze

Pokémon GO is the latest craze sweeping the nation. If you aren’t playing it yourself, you likely know someone else who is. …And they’re likely obsessed with it. So what on earth is this game and why is it so popular? The answer is fairly clear: the game is focused completely around you, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing… even if that means visiting U-Haul.

What is Pokémon GO?

Pokémon GO is described as “a location-based augmented reality mobile game”. Basically this means that, using the GPS location tracking on your phone, the camera on your phone and other information such as the geography of the area you’re in and historical landmarks, you merge the virtual game world and the real world. Regardless of where someone goes, so long as they have the application open on their phones, they can interact with things they see in real life for various gaming activities. Each of these activities encourages players to get outside and be more active which aligns perfectly with our goals this year of “becoming a Healthier U“. For many, this game is also a nostalgic blast from the past as a modern-day twist on the classic Pokémon Gameboy games released in 1996 or the television show released in 1997.

Catching Pokémon

Catching Pokémon is the most straightforward of the goals in the game. After all, you “gotta catch ’em all”, right? Depending on where you are, a Pokémon may appear on your phone screen. Once one does, you simply tap the Pokémon. This brings up an image of this Pokémon exactly where you are. You could be on your couch, at the beach, even at a U-Haul center or packing your truck up on moving day and a Pokémon might appear! From here you toss Pokéballs at the Pokémon until hopefully it’s caught.

One of the coolest features with this is that to catch all 150 Pokémon gamers are forced to travel. For example, here in Arizona users will find primarily fire, ground and normal type Pokémon. To catch water, grass, psychic or other such types of Pokémon you need to get to an area with differing geography and climate. Of course, every now and again you might get an out of place water Pokémon in the desert but to truly excel at the game you have to explore different regions, much like the classic Pokémon game. Who’d have thought stopping into different cities during your moving day road trip could be so much fun?

Remember: DO NOT PLAY AND DRIVE! If you are moving with someone else, have a co-pilot catch Pokémon for you while you drive. Otherwise, wait until you make it to your various rest stops. The Pokémon can wait and if you miss then, there will be more chances to catch them. The Distracted Driving is not worth it.

Pokémon GO

Stocking up on Supplies at Pokéstops

Everywhere you go in the game you will see little blue markers. As you get closer to their locations you can tap and spin them to re-fill on Pokéballs, berries, eggs, potions and other such items. These Pokéstops are all locations you actually encounter in the real world. Here at the headquarters for U-Haul International we have 3 Pokéstops of our own:

  • The Central Avenue Gargoyles: “These Chinese guardian dog statues or “foo lions” protect the U-Haul International corporate towers.”
  • Mini Gargoyle: “Guardians of U-Haul International”
  • Elephants and Flowers: “U-Haul Parking Garage”

Needless to say, even Pokémon GO can see the importance of the history behind U-Haul and its corporate office incorporating it into the game multiple times.

Pokémon GO

Battling at Pokémon GO Gyms

Once you hit level 5 in the game, you pick which team you would like to join. After you make your decision you can begin battling at gyms. Gyms are easily spotted as large towers in the colors of yellow, blue and red. If you are the same color of the gym you find you can train or become a gym leader there. If you are at an opposing team’s gym you can battle and takeover the gym for your own team. Much like Pokéstops, Pokémon gyms are landmarks or locations that appear in the real world that you must actually physically visit to battle.

Hatching Eggs

Another way to capture Pokémon in Pokémon GO is to hatch them from eggs. When visiting Pokéstops you have the chance to receive eggs. These eggs come in 3 forms: 2 km, 5 km and 10 km. As you walk with your application open the game will count your steps using the GPS and location tracking. For each egg you have incubating while you walk, your steps will eventually allow your eggs to hatch. This encourages players to get outside and walk around to add to their step count.

The only way to catch Pokémon from geographical areas different from your own aside from travelling to those areas is to explore your own area collecting and hatching eggs. Bonus: Pokémon hatched from eggs receive more Pokémon candies than Pokémon caught normally. These Pokémon candies can then be used to level up or evolve your Pokémon. People all over are finding that this part of the game is helping them to make healthier, more active life choices, joining us at U-Haul in becoming a “Healthier U”.

Check out the chart below to see all the possible egg options:

Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO and U-Haul Social Media

U-Haul and Pokémon may seem like completely different topics, but leave it to the bright members of our social media team to find the correlation. Of course there is the fact that U-Haul is encouraging team members to embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle, much like Pokémon GO. Additionally there are the Pokémon that may be caught or seen on moving day, Pokéstops or gyms to stop by on your moving day road trip and the Pokéstops at U-Haul HQ. Moreover, for the team realized that for some, Pokémon GO might be a reason to move to a new location. Inspired by Boon Sheridan whose house was registered as a Pokémon Gym, the social media team turned this into a “reason to move”.

Reason #118 You Should Move: Your House has been Registered as a Pokémon Gym

This was published as a part of the Snapchat “Reasons to Move” series which publishes to the @gouhaul account on Tuesdays. Similar content has also been shared to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, reminding all the Pokémon trainers out there to keep U-Haul in mind as they set forth on their missions.

Pokémon GO

Have you seen any other U-Haul locations that are Gyms or Pokestops? Share with us in the comments below!

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