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Pokemon Go – more positives than negatives

By Aroha Witinitara

Parks are places where you would expect to find people enjoying all kinds of activities. Like children playing on the playground, or adults going out for a walk. But the outdoors is not a place where you would expect to find someone playing a video game. Pokémon Go has changed that perception.

What sets Pokémon Go apart from other games is that players have to get off the couch to play. To play, players use a mobile device’s GPS to locate and capture Pokémon who appear on the screen as if they were in the same real-world location as the player.

There are downsides to the game. Over-zealous Pokémon hunters have been spraining ankles, walking into traffic and been nuisances to the public. On the other hand, the game has allowed strangers to connect with each other, improved mental health and allowed people to get exercise and explore their environments.

Most video games are solitary activities. Gamers sit alone in their bedrooms to play their games. Pokémon Go forces players to get outside.

Many players have taken to social media to talk about the benefits the game has had on their mental health. For those struggling to get motivated Pokémon go could be the push they need to get out of the house. Getting into the fresh air and sunlight is beneficial for both mental and physical health.

The game does a great job at encouraging socialisation. Progressing in the game is easier when you’re in a group. It’s difficult for players to take over Pokémon gyms when they’re by themselves. Catching Pokémon is also easier when you’re with others as you can spread out and cover a greater area.

The necessity to form these alliances is encouraged by the healthy competition between the three Pokémon teams. The game also acts as grounds to make new friends as players have a common interest. It’s easy for strangers to form new friendships and alliances with each other.

The Pokémon craze is beginning to die out. The number of active Pokémon players reached its peak only a week after the release of the game and has since been on the decrease. But the game is still popular and there are many exciting new features coming to the app in the near future which may reignite its popularity.

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