If you haven’t heard about it, you soon will. Pokémon Go has caused the nation to engage in a frenzy of Pokémon chasing. Look around, and you will see people of all ages walking while staring at their phones. Granted, this isn’t that unusual a sight these days, but you may notice that they seem more intent than normal. Have you played Pokémon Go?
This is a free-to-play game designed for smartphones. The game makes use of GPS to allow you hunt for a Pokémon in your real-world environment. Once you locate a Pokémon, you then have to try and catch it in one of your Pokéballs. That’s about it.
The game not only has been celebrated for its playability, it also has been praised for getting people out of the house. To locate a Pokémon, players have to take themselves out and about to actually find it. Therefore, to play the game, people do need to explore their local environment and beyond.
The activity tracker Jawbone has noted that in the weekend following the release of the game, Pokémon Go players increased their daily step count from 6000 to nearly 11,000. Therefore, it is clear that playing the game has the potential for real health benefits.
The game also has been identified as being useful for people with mental health conditions, such as social anxiety, as it encourages more interaction with the world. The same applies to people on the autism spectrum.
In fact, as reported in the Independent, Australian autism expert Craig Smith has created a method to incorporate the game into his lessons to encourage the social skills of autistic students. It seems that many other teachers and educators are also seeing the benefits of incorporating such games in their work with students.
Therefore, if you have been feeling guilty for playing Pokémon Go, just remember – it can be good for you. Just be sure to look where you are going.