PW 0

I wanna be the very best…but I don’t wanna walk.

This month, Pokémon GO came to smartphones, and it’s already a huge success. But even though you can enjoy the smash hit it without a dedicated game system, inventive individuals are already finding ways to game its system.

The whole selling point of Pokémon Go is that, as an augmented reality game, it’s meant to be played by going out into the real world. That design element carries over to the game mechanic for hatching in-game Pokémon eggs, which require you to walk certain distance before a baby Pocket Monster bursts out. But as we saw earlier this week, you can skip the legwork if you’ve got a model train set, and now comes another way to hatch Pokémon while staying stationary: a company that you can pay to do the walking for you.

For a fee, newly formed U.S. venture PokeWalk will take your smartphone for a stroll, with the three distances offered corresponding to those needed to hatch the different classes of Pokémon Go eggs. A two-kilometer (1.2-mile) walk will cost you US$10, a five-kilometer one $15, and a 10-kilometer trek $20. By using the service’s app, you can summon a PokeWalker to your home or office to pick up your phone, who will then return it with your requested distance covered, the battery charged, and a guarantee that your stable of has more Pocket Monsters than it did when your phone left on its journey.

▼ You can also track your phone’s whereabouts through the app.

PW 1

The organization is the brainchild of a group of San Francisco-based engineers and designers, who claim to have secured $4 million in investment funds. They describe their vision as:

“Imagine a world where you had the flexibility to do what you wanted to do like watch tv, sit on a stationary bike, stand on a skateboard, and not have to move to collect Pokemon. We want the millions of Pokemon Go players to have the freedom to do what they want without the pressure of walking.”

While it might seem kind of contradictory to pay someone to play a game for you, online role-playing games have, for decades, shown that there’s a demand for gold farmers and other services that take the grinding grunt-work out of titles for fans with more disposable cash than free time. PokeWalk is yet to officially launch, but is now in the process of recruiting PokeWalkers in a variety of cities, with applications being accepted through its Twitter account.

Source: PokeWalk via Gigazine via Jin
Images: PokeWalk

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s wondering if his poor sense of direction would disqualify him from becoming a PokeWalker.