Pokemon-GoPokémon GO, the new game from Nintendo is hot.  It’s on the news and its being used in political campaigns from both parties – (Pikachu is on the presidential campaign trail it seems).

This innovative game avoids tethering a player to a game console and instead players get up, travel and try to find Pokémon in the real world.  Location-based augmented reality is the name they are giving to this new approach to gaming. It seems as if the developer of this game was responding to the age-old complaint that video games are unhealthy as you just sit in one place and stare at a screen.

In this game you drive to Stop and Shop, which apparently is a Poke Stop and try to find Pokémon in the aisles. But, wait a minute I said drive, didn’t I. Well with the typical gamer obsessiveness, people are playing Pokémon GO while driving.  I know of at least two car accidents where the driver was playing while driving.  There probably are more. There was also a robbery where thieves were targeting a Poke Stop.

So, what does this have to do with Transaction Tracking, a key component of application performance monitoring (APM)? It turns out that there is a connection. Transaction tracking can be used for a lot more than the typical APM use of measuring customer experience.  Instead it can also be used to track behavior and teach the developers of the game a lot about the path a user takes through a game or any interactive mobile app.

Of course, transaction tracking is also valuable to the business funding the app as they can analyze which behavior leads to additional revenue and how to reinforce that behavior. This important capability is the intersection between IT transactions and business objectives or milestones.  The business can learn a lot from tracking Pokémon Go transactions and the completion status and the order of business objectives accomplished along the way.  For example an objective here might be to incentivize the player to purchase coins for additional capabilities.

This game’s eCommerce component, used for coin purchase initiates a financial transaction that traverses the connection between the player, Nintendo and the bank.  Transaction tracking here can be used for the typical APM purpose of performance analysis.

In Pokémon Go, the developers of the game can also track the path the user went through in order to go to the various Poke Stops (geographic locations) and correlate this with on screen behavior and whatever the game can learn via the phone permissions about the player.  This is valuable demographic data.

There is also the unfortunate opportunity for cyber-crime where an authorized user could tamper with transactions between the player and the bank.  APM should be used to detect if transactions have been tampered.

To learn more about Transaction Tracking, download the free eBook from DZone and Nastel on Performance and Monitoring.  And don’t play Pokémon Go while driving!