Pokemon Sleep: a strange brand fit or a wellness revolution?

In the summer of 2016, try as you may, Pokemon Go was unavoidable. Even if you had a will power of steel and managed to abstain from playing the game itself, the minute you stepped out into the street you were at risk of being run down by reams of ‘Trainers’ too absorbed to look where they’re going.

But Pokemon Go had a truly positive effect on society. It got people out and about, exercising, enjoying the sun, talking to strangers. And as Pokemon tended to gather around historical sites, it was actually educational too. Plus it did wonders for any stigma or assumptions around being a ‘gamer’.

So where does Pokemon Go go next? Well, they thought to themselves at Pokemon HQ, if we were champions of wellness in gaming back then, that is where we must innovate. And so came Pokemon Sleep.

Although not much has yet been revealed about the game, it will essentially track your sleep and reward you when you have a good night’s kip. The idea is to reward good sleep habits as part of a mission to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

In one way it makes sense. Sleep trackers and wearables continue to gain momentum so why not jump on the band wagon and make this trend fun. Pokemon Sleep will not only track sleep patterns but will reward you when you sleep well. It’s a win win, surely!

But I just can’t get over what a weird brand fit this is. Pokemon Go was about getting people out in the world and active. And this is the exact opposite.

Plus I can’t help but feel making sleep into a game might actually have detrimental affects on individuals’ relationships with sleep. It’s not like you can tell yourself to sleep well, and ta-da you do. So congratulations hatch an egg for all your good work. And actually if you’re not sleeping well, what’s worse than having a game tell you that you’re in some way failing.

As this news spreads across the globe it will be interesting to hear how all the once-were fans and current mega fans react. My favourite reaction so far from the twittersphere:

Pokemon Go
Pokemon Sleep
Pokemon Quit Smoking
Pokemon Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Pokemon Free and Accessible Birth Control
Pokemon Socialized Healthcare
Pokemon CO2 Emission Cap

By: Rachel Ballard

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