Pokémon GO has quickly become the staple of mobile gaming. It’s brought together gamers of all ages, from as young as seven years old to as old as sixty. I’ve seen parents playing it with their kids and grandparents playing it to feel like they’ve still got it. However, Pokémon GO has also gotten a bad rap with all the negative news surrounding it. I’m here to tell you Pokémon GO isn’t destroying society, as the media would allegedly have you believe — it’s bringing people together!
Pokémon Go is Bringing Life Back to Cities
I occasionally go into the downtown area of my city. I don’t go very often because it’s usually boring and not many people are out walking around (except the teenagers). The past two weeks, however, I went downtown both Friday nights in a row. Why? To play Pokémon GO, of course! Here’s what’s so special about it: It was packed! There were people playing everywhere. You couldn’t turn a street corner without hearing, “Oh, look, a Mankey!”
One guy I met was particularly awesome. He was walking around the square wearing a Pokémon t-shirt, blasting Pokémon theme music everywhere he walked. I asked him his story and, apparently, he comes downtown every night now rather than staying in his apartment because he loves Pokémon and everyone stops him to talk to him. He’s met dozens, if not hundreds, of people just by being a little different and playing a game he loves. Here’s the real kicker: he lost 15 pounds because he was walking around so much! And he isn’t alone — people all over the world are leaving their apartments, making friends, and losing weight, all thanks to Pokémon.
In Fact, Pokémon Go is Fighting Depression
In fact, this game is fighting depression. All the walking around and exercise helps by itself, but the social aspect is a totally different game changer. It’s backed by science and the players themselves.
Reddit user Forexal posted on the Pokémon GO subreddit about how the game helped his severe depression:
“I’m a twenty three year old in Australia with some serious problems with mental health, which translates to not caring about anything at all…I don’t look for sympathy, as I find that to be a weak quality in someone but… for a while I’ve been incredibly weak, so weak that my three goals each day are starving myself, regret and trying not to think about suicide. When I’m out in public the few times I am, I put on a happy face to let everyone know I’m ok but in reality, I just wanted to die.
NOW, Pokemon GO releases on the 6th of July in Australia and a friend of mine tells me to give it a go because I’m such an avid pokemon fan, so I go finally buy some phone credit and download the app…
In the past 4 days, I have walked over 50km, I’ve met some cool people, I didn’t cry once, I’ve gotten rid of some semi-permanent artist block and photoshopped some things, I got a date with a girl for Saturday and I walked into a bar and got an interview for Monday.”
If this game is able to change lives to such an extreme extent, how can anyone say it’s “destroying society”? Yes, there are some stupid people doing stupid things. Yes, it can be played too much and affect other parts of people’s lives.
However, stupid people doing stupid things is nothing new. Anyone with half a brain will look before they cross the road or think twice before breaking into a church. The people doing these things would have done them anyway with some other reason as an excuse. Just use your head, play smart, and don’t play it too much. You’ll probably find some friends and get some great exercise while you play!
Featured photo credit: Chicago Tribune via trbimg.com