Pokémon Go brings forth exercise, injuries, and friendships

Jess Makela

For the past month and a half, there has been an increase in pedestrian traffic across the country at large.

re-pokemon goAt Lower Harbor in downtown Marquette, thrice as many people can be seen per evening in early August compared to those spotted in June. The trending app Pokémon Go is the game by which, contrary to conventional indoor methods of gaming, people are getting active and enjoying themselves outdoors.

Pokémon Go is a smartphone app which uses a phone’s camera, GPS and position sensors to generate catchable Pokémon, little monster characters, on the phone’s screen in real time and place.

A player can catch the same Pokémon multiple times to evolve it, making it more powerful in battles against other players’ Pokémon. The game encourages physical activity. In fact, it is an integral part of how the game is played. Players walk to find PokéStops, historical buildings and sites.

PokéStops are where players can receive Pokéballs, health potions, and other various bounties like eggs. PokéEggs require certain circumstances. Oh, what a surprise, more walking.

Eggs require the player to walk two, five, or even 10 kilometers while it is stored in an incubator. The eggs hatch into unique and rare Pokémon, some of which can only be found in specific areas.

Unfortunately, there have been numerous injuries reported by players since the game was released in the beginning of July.

When people stare at their phones and fail to mind their steps, obtaining injuries is effortless.
Pokémon Go does not require constant attention as a player’s phone will vibrate when there are Pokémon to catch nearby and the Pokémon will be shown on the map with the player’s avatar.
The Pokémon Co. is aware and concerned for the safety of players stating, “We are constantly looking at ways to add safety features to Pokémon Go and expect to incorporate some features based on user experience into future builds.”

The app already has a warning screen as it is opened and loading.

As more people are walking about to play this game there is a rise in the number of people who are likely to be harmed in the process.

People get hurt every day and when a phone screen is added to the mix, the chances of injury rise.

In addition to the benevolent physical effects of playing Pokémon Go, players can reap emotional, mental and social health benefits. Social interactions between players are expected, especially at PokéStops. As they congregate, players can develop a sense of belonging and community.

The app brings the players to places that can be overlooked in everyday travels or completely unexplored.

Players have the opportunities to learn new things about their community and meet people they would never encounter otherwise, all the while bonding over a shared interest in the game.

Pokémon Go allows people to approach going for a walk with a new mindset. Walking to hatch eggs and to reach new PokeStops isn’t a chore, it’s what needs to be done in order to advance and level up in the game.

As people get moving outside, Pokémon Go evokes the warm fuzzies within players reminiscing the hours spent catching the original Pokémon on their Game Boy, while younger folks are introduced to an evolved and modernized concept of Generation X and Y’s cherished pastime.