After years of being told that electronics are making people lazy, augmented reality has stepped in and proved to the naysayers that the digital age can actually make us healthier and more social beings. Pokemon GO, an AR version of the beloved series, has only been released a short few days ago and it seems that society is already reaping the benefits of a game based in exploration.
Within the game, players have to actual travel around to be able to find a wider variety of Pokemon which means a lot more walking then you’d expect from a video game. Over the weekend, Sydney-siders had a Pokemon GO meet-up which ended in hundreds of fans walking the city streets in an effort to become Pokemon Masters. It’s not only the extra exercise that has positively effected the community, as it turns out, the game has already begun helping those with mental anxiety and depression disorders to step out of their shell a little bit.
Many players have been posting about the app, talking about its ability to take them out of their comfort zone whether that’s socialising with other people or simply getting them out of the house. Even following the #PokemonGO tag on Twitter will show you an army of budding Pokemon trainers who have been running into groups of people playing the game and striking up conversations because they immediately have a topic they can all relate to – it seems the anti-social, stay-at-home nerd stereotype is officially getting destroyed.
It is yet to be determined whether the popularity of the game will continue over the course of time, but it shows no sign of slowing down having hit the top of Google Play and Apple Store charts. As Nintendo and Niantic work out the kinks (mainly the terrible servers), the game’s roll-out will continue across more countries and then we’ll see what updates they’ll bring in the future. Here’s hoping more Pokemon from later generation regions, but that’ll be quite far down the track. So what have your experiences been with the game? Are you on your way to becoming a Pokemon Master or has your adventure been ridden with phone incompatibility and poor servers? Let me know in the comments below!