Pokémon craze is back and this time, it’s bigger and better than ever! The augment reality game Pokémon Go has already taken multiple nations by storm and continues to expand internationally.
While it’s not the first augmented reality game available for mobile, the exciting world of Pokemon has been spreading wildfire ever since its release. This revolutionary twist that’s caused players to start roaming their local neighbourhoods in search for Pokemon has had a number of reported health benefits. Most surprising, this was not only limited to physical health!
Curious to understand how Pokémon Go could have such as significant positive influence mental health? Here’s three unforeseen benefits to partaking in this new craze.
1. Encourages Walking and Exploring Nature
Unlike conventional mobile games, an essential element Pokémon Go is exploring the real-life environment to progress through the digital world. For many players, partaking in this game involves a lot of walking, running, cycling and rambling.
On a medical level, walking offers a wide variety of health benefits associated with it. Mayo Clinic revealed regular brisk walks helps to elevate mood, boost coordination and balance, maintain a healthy body weight and even strengthen bones.
What’s more, walking through scenic natural areas can provide further mental health benefits. Research from a Standford University graduate found that walking through green areas of campus actually had a significant effect on positivity. Another study from 2015 published in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” found that a 90-minute walk in nature greatly reduced negative thinking compared to a walk in the city.
tbh pokemon go is so great for my mental health takin so many walks
— wicked plastic (@hayleylaur) July 8, 2016
2. Creating More Social Interactions Between Players
Another element not often seen in mobile games is real-life social interaction. Conventional online multiplayer games are still limited to purely digital interactions. However, Pokémon Go actually brings people together. Many players report that while hunting for Pokémon they regularly notice, interact and make friends with others out playing the game.
It’s been seen that social activity can have a profound effect on our mental well-being and mood. In many cases, it’s even helped alleviate suffers from depression.Pokémon Go gives gamers a great incentive to socialize and meet others
Pokémon Go gives gamers a great incentive to socialize and meet others who would usually recluse while playing video games.
Pokemon Go is literally making people with depression and anxiety and agoraphobia leave the house and explore the world and socialise.
— jason? (@jasonjarmoosh) July 8, 2016
3. Providing a Boost of Motivation and Purpose
Our level of motivation can have a strong impact on our actions. Sometimes we know what we exactly what should be doing, but without the right motivation it simply doesn’t happen. Whether we lack in enthusiasm or suffer from depression, sometimes even getting out of bed in the mornings can become a challenge.
Often, all we need is a sense of direction, purpose or reason to build momentum. Rather than staying in the house a stagnant environment, Pokémon Go is providing thousands of players with a fun reason to get out back out into the world.
#PokemonGO is going to do wonders for my mental health, providing me with purpose and reason to go outside at last.
— DrE³w 'Raven Ridge' Dale ?? ✨✨✨ ???✨? (@drwdal) July 6, 2016
Pokémon Go is creating quite the social media buzz, many claim it’s helped them become more motivated and get through the struggles of depression.
Just Don’t Forget To Look Up From Your Phone
Allowing ourselves to get too carried away in this augmented reality adventure comes with a number of dangers. Here are three main considerations to ensure stay safe while playing Pokémon Go:
- Demonstrate self-control – Addiction to any kind of game is not going to be healthy in the long-run. Try to keep this game as a fun addition to your life, not an obsession that dominates it!
- Maintain situational awareness – Players have been caught up in a number accidents, from minor to major, due to lack of awareness of the real-world. So make sure you always watch where you are going, especially in busy, built-up areas or road crossing roads.
- Don’t wander dangerously – Be cautious if the game is leading you to explore unfamiliar areas, especially if they are more dangerous than usual. It’s may be wise to avoid wandering after dark if you are on your own.
Now with these safety considerations in mind, get on out there and try to catch ’em all!