It’s almost impossible these days to run through any social media feed, and not see something about the new, interactive mobile app, Pokémon Go. With a reality aspect to the game, using your smartphone or mobile device’s GPS, gamers can walk around their own communities, hunting down and capturing these little creatures, in real-world areas. Unlike some video games, that keep enthusiasts locked in doors and sitting on the couch or a chair, staring mindlessly at a computer, tablet, or mobile phone; Pokémon Go encourages people to literally, get outside.
Like with any phenomena, experts have been weighing in on the potential health benefits to such a game. Here’s a rundown of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
As stated above, Medical News Today reported that unlike a majority of video games and apps out there, people are leaving their homes, and getting physically active, like never before. As to hunt down these creatures, one must navigate through a path, many gamers (that wouldn’t normally be out and about), are increasing their physical activity. In fact, a 2012 study revealed that sitting and inactivity in general increases an individual’s risk of cardiovascular and diabetes. A more recent 2015 study concluded that sitting for long periods of time, despite a person’s fitness level, has an all-around negative impact on their health.
Moreover, the outdoor component, no doubt also has a positive effect on the general isolation issue that not only video games have brought to our society, but the internet as well. A study out of Britain in 2012 revealed that mortality increased within lonely or socially isolated participant that took part in the research. Once base health and demographics were taken out, the study showed that social isolation became an important forecaster, when it came to mortality. Interestingly enough, Pokémon Go players have been proclaiming the overall positives, as it relates to connecting with other players (and people), they wouldn’t normal be in contact with, who are also playing the game.
Sadly, some Pokémon Go players are excited to get out and go – foregoing walking all together, and simply deciding to use their vehicles to capture these characters. As such, it’s been reported that the game is increasing congestion in parking lots, accidents, and all-around dangerous driving habits; as people are not paying attention to the road as they drive, or their surroundings.
There have also been reports of Pokémon Go players being mugged (as well as other crimes), due to the distraction of the game.
This one can be placed under ‘the oddest Pokémon Go report’ category. In all the hysteria of trying to capture a Pokémon character, recently a 19-year-old female states that during her hunt, she found a dead body, in a river.
Certainly an issue of “gamer beware”. Pokémon players may find a monster creature, and get a good walk and workout, however, there just might be other things they run into, that they don’t want to find.