PRO: An app that can heal
Written by Julia Rodriquez, Opinions Editor
Pokémon Go has multiple health benefits for those who play it. Though video games and apps are often seen as a poor choice of a pass time, Pokémon Go has been created differently. It forces players to exercise.
Sure, the Wii used to be known for its ability to get players up and moving, but how many of us can say we weren’t just sitting on the couch swinging our arms around? Not many. In fact, very few games absolutely had to be played standing up. There was always a way around the workout.
Pokémon Go on the other hand requires going to specific destinations in towns and cities in order to play the game. Other game requirements are walking certain distances to hatch any eggs that the player has collected.
Of course, people have avoided walking for eggs by strapping their phone to their dog or fan, but they still have to walk to catch Pokémon or go to gyms.
All this walking has been extremely beneficial. Regular exercise helps individuals battle obesity and even depression.
According to Engadget’s article “Pokémon Go’s mental health benefits are real,” Dr. John Grohol, an expert in Technology’s impact on human behavior and mental health, insists that Pokémon Go is helping people fight depression. He explains that the research on exercise and depression is very clear: the more you exercise, the better you feel.
Additionally, people are going out and socializing. Many pokéstops and gyms are placed at libraries, parks, popular restaurants, museums and churches. It is literally an app that rewards you for going out and seeing the world.
Unfortunately there have been issues with people misusing the game, however updates are regularly made in attempt to resolve them. For example: If the game senses that you are moving too fast and are likely in a car, it will stop and asks if you are a passenger before letting you continue. Additionally it will warn players to be aware of their surroundings and not to trespass.
Individuals could always ignore the game’s warnings, but at that point it is the person, not the app, that is the issue.
Hopefully the future holds both improvements for this game and the release of others like it. Fun ways to get exercise and battle depression should always be welcomed forms of technology.