City Profile: San Jose (September 17, 2017)

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In this particularly large mobilization, the city of San José’ wove the game into their annual Open Streets festival. Seven miles of streets were closed to cars during VivaCalleSJ— and open to biking, skating, walking and play.

This year, as Pokemon GO was featured, more than 30,000 players logged in for the day. Overall attendance was up approximately 30% from the year prior, which already had 100,000 attendees.

The event was structured around neighborhood hubs and highlighted specific events, culture and themes. The city, working closely with Niantic, curated more than 130 PokéStops and over 25 Gyms along the route. Many had lure modules. In addition, Niantic staff were at key event hubs with special posters and a raffle to tour the company headquarters.

Yet much of the impact required a closer look, from tourism, neighborhood branding, and the networks of the game.  For this story and the detailed metrics, see our report.

Full Report

>> San Jose is one of the primary cities featured in our detailed report. Below we include. Analysis includes:

  1. Economic indicators for San Jose, including as compared to local businesses that invested in the game
  2. Narrative of how the experience felt to players, and how social mixing was possible in new ways
  3. Comparison with the Philadelphia Open Streets case

A few images

Fan-created map of the San Jose event route, featuring Pokemon GO creatures, made by Reddit user /u/unknownstrife


A local business featured in the game, as part of content updated for the event
Parking lots unexpectedly filled with players near event hubs
Fan-organized meetup during the event, with custom map of one event hub
A player who received a Golden Raid Pass and poster, per their public Instagram account (@vinsonte)
At major “hubs” along the route, cultural programming and local vendors were available to participants (photo credit: research team)

More on the San Jose remix

<< back to our Report Overview on Pokémon GO and Playful Cities