Pokémon Goes to Sleep


Three years ago, something of Wailord proportions hit the gaming world: Pokémon Go launched on smartphones. And not only did that release reinvigorate and revolutionize Nintendo’s gotta-catch-’em-all franchise, it pretty much singlehandedly put augmented reality on every gamers map.

In a heartbeat, there were kids and adults walking around looking for Pokémon in their school yards and office parking lots. And people were scurrying off in search of Pokéstops and battles at a nearby Pokégym. And as a sweet bonus, they were getting tons of aerobic exercise, too.

Well, never ones to, uh, lay down on the job, the folks at Pokémon publisher Niantic (along with Nintendo, of course) have dreamed up something new. Something big. Something … sleepy. In fact, they’re calling it Pokémon Sleep. And Tsunekazu Ishihara, the company’s CEO, said that it will “turn sleeping into entertainment.”

How so?

Well, the exact details are still a bit of a mystery. But it seems the game will somehow incentivize sleeping, giving players rewards for the more sleep they get that will be usable in as-yet-unidentified Pokémon products. That means kids won’t have to smuggle their mom’s phone under their pillows at night. Which is good, because studies have shown that staring at screens before bed can really mess with kids’ (and your average Snorlax’s) sleep patterns. So when the game comes out in 2020, Nintendo will release some nonscreen hardware to facilitate this unorthodox game’s primary goal: helping kids get more sleep. (Just like Pokémon Go encouraged them to get out and walk more.)

Nintendo has already been selling a device called Pokémon Go Plus, which connects to your iPhone or Android smartphone and provides an easy way to catch Pokémon and collect items with a single click of a button. The new gadget may be similar in some ways, but it will also come complete with built-in accelerometers to measure a players sleep patterns. (Much like the way some fitness trackers like Fitbit already do.)

And after much hard work, time and planning Nintendo announced that this new sleep measurement device would be called a … Pokémon Go Plus Plus. (OK, maybe they didn’t spend all that much time on the name.)

How all this tucked-in gameplay, er, shut-eye will actually impact the Poké themselves is yet to be revealed. We’ll just have to wait and see. But you know what? No matter how it plays out, I’m thinking there’ll be some enthusiastic moms and dads ready to cheer the idea. I mean if a game actually encourages kids to turn off the screens and hit the sack for a full night’s sleep, that’s gotta be … a plus plus.

Who wrote this?

Bob Hoose is a senior associate editor for Plugged In, a producer/writer for Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey, a writer of plays and musicals and one-half of the former comedy/drama duo Custer & Hoose. He is a husband, father of three and a relatively new granddad.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Julienne Dy 14 days ago
Umm, is this real?  None of this sounds real, but it's too late in the year for April Fools.
Isaiah Thacker 14 days ago
That was my reaction when the Pokemon Company was announcing this live. I kept waiting for them to reveal that it was one giant practical joke. But no, it seems they're actually serious.
Anonymous 13 days ago
I was thinking that as well. They help people get up and walk and now they help them go to sleep. 
-Emma Bibliophile
Anonymous 14 days ago
A pokemon sleep game. Okaaay...
-Emma Bibliophile
Karl The Klown 13 days ago
Yeah. A-non-mouse is banned. He told me on Discord. 
You are welcome to join us.You just have to sign onto Discord and add my tag as a friend.
David the Clown#0551
Anonymous 13 days ago
Ah. I have never heard of this Discord. Do you look it up? 
-Emma Bibliophile
The Kenosha Kid 13 days ago
I'm very sorry to hear that. I hope he's allowed to come back someday.

-- The Kenosha Kid
Karl The Klown 13 days ago
Looks like you found it lol 

 @The Kenosha Kid 
Yeah man. Not sure why he was banned. It was right after that thread where there was that dude impersonated everyone. Guess there was some mix up
Anonymous 12 days ago
Kenosha Kid I know your name is not related to a place but I was just at a Civil War museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It was focused on the Midwestern's state's role in the conflict. If you are ever in WI it's on the shores of Lake Michigan, near a statue of Christopher Columbus
-Emma Bibliophile
The Kenosha Kid 12 days ago
Whoa, that sounds really cool, Emma. I have family near the Great Lakes so maybe if I'm ever over there I'll check it out. Thanks for the tip.

And if you're really into the Civil War, check out Shelby Foote's three-volume history of it. Long, but beautifully written.

-- The Kenosha Kid