In July 2016, when Nintendo unleashed its Pokemon GO game (which uses augmented reality to let players find Pokemon in the real world), many salivated over an enticing idea: at long last, a video game—a video game—had successfully convinced people to get more exercise. After all, Pokemon GO was immediately popular, downloaded some 100 million times in less than a month, and the mechanics of the app require exploring (and, more to the point, taking steps in) the real world.
Pokemon Go is still massively popular with mobile gaming savants, and developer Niantic remains on top of things by continuing to roll out new updates to keep things fresh. But up until now the Team Leaders, appointed to each team, haven't seemed to serve any real purpose beyond letting me rep a special team by slapping a sticker on the back of my car or sporting a T-shirt with their logo emblazoned on it. Niantic is changing this, as the Team Leaders will now be tasked with evaluating which one of your Pokemon is prime for training with special items called Candy and Stardust earned in-game.