An environmental group wants to use the Pokemon Go app to lure people to places where environmentalists can educate the users on global warming and register them to vote.
The environmental group NextGen is a San Fransisco-based environmental advocacy group founded by Democratic philanthropist Tom Steyer. The group sees the smart phone game Pokemon Go as a way to co-opt younger voters.
NextGen has already planned events in Iowa and Nevada — with Iowa already having successful events — that will attempt to lure potential voters and climate activists into areas using Pokemon Go. Once there, NextGen will try to get Go-ers to register to vote and teach them about global warming, Grist reported Wednesday.
“We were trying to figure out where the youth vote is here in Ames,” Jacob Martin, regional field director for NextGen, told Iowa Starting Line. “With Pokemon Go, that’s where it is.”
Pokemon Go is an augmented reality app from Nintendo that allows “trainers” to search local areas for their prized Pokemon. The app has seen amazing success thus far, with more than 15 million downloads on iPhone and Android phones, and has even surpassed Facebook for the amount of time people spend on it per day, according to CNET.
Since the group started the Pokemon Go registration and education drive three days ago, they have signed up nearly 100 people on their climate pledge cards, according to Iowa Starting Line.
“[H]is energy plan is detrimental to our goals of 50% clean energy by 2030,” Martin said. “We’re trying to spread the message that if you want to win Iowa, you have to support clean energy.”
It is worth noting that NextGen is silent on Hillary Clinton, who has said she supports fracking if “environmental protections are all met,” according to On The Issues.
Clinton has also jumped on the Pokemon Go craze, starting her own voter registration campaign using the app.
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