The popularity of the mobile video game Pokémon Go may be contributing to a healthier lifestyle for many players, according to some experts. The GPS operated game requires players to walk around and 'capture' various different Pokémon. Wei Peng, PhD ...
Steve Duffy, Digital Content Editor
July 20, 2016
Experts speculate that the game could be a gateway to other forms of exercise
The popularity of the mobile video game PokÃ©mon Go may be contributing to a healthier lifestyle for many players, according to some experts.
The GPS operated game requires players to walk around and â€˜capture' various different PokÃ©mon. Wei Peng, PhD, professor at Michigan State University who studies video games, thinks the game can be effective in getting people who live sedentary lives to be more active. â€œThere is already clear evidence that people are walking more each day while using it,â€ she said.
â€œThe game could be a gateway to other forms of exercise for sedentary people, once they start walking and realize how good they feel after being active,â€ said Debra Lieberman, PhD,Â director of the Center for Digital Games Research at the University of California, Santa Barbara.Â
Video games that promote exercise are not new; the Nintendo Wii, which uses a controller to detect movement in three-dimensions, was launched in 2006. However, PokÃ©mon Go adds the dimension of mobility and augmented reality; the ability to incorporate game aspects into real world images through a cell phone's camera.
Dale Bond, an assistant professor of psychiatric and human behavior at Brown University, told theÂ Huffington PostÂ how PokÃ©mon Go is different to previous exercise games in that players may not feel like they are exercising as there is no specific exercise goals established.
The app has been downloaded over 15 million times worldwide, which will likely grow as the app becomes available in more countries (it is currently available in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the U.K.). This popularity will likely inspire the advent of more augmented reality games.
Some worries do exist surrounding the safety of the game, as it can lure players into secluded areas where theyÂ can be robbed. Lieberman said, if people are being safe the game can bring â€œtremendous benefitsâ€, such as â€œsocial interaction and physical activity.â€
For more information visitÂ Heart.org.
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