Whether you see it as a trend or phenomena, Pokémon Go is getting more popular and adding more users each day. Besides the fact that it hasn’t been released worldwide just yet, for obvious reasons, the server problems, the glitches, the bugs, Pokémon Go still gets more attention than expected. From nostalgic middle-aged people to curious kids and even old people who seek reasons to get out of the house, Pokémon Go has become the game to play, these days.
Like any other phenomena, Pokémon Go has its good sides and its downfalls. Unlike most video games that require your full concentration and keep you in one physical place or most mobile games that are a complete waste of time, Pokémon Go actually promotes going outside and socializing. For people going through depression or social anxiety, the game has proven to be beneficial. Although it is just a game, it is a good motivator to get out of the house for the simple reason of “catching them all”, and motivation is what people with depression usually lack. Also, for those who have social anxiety, speaking to friends and even strangers becomes easier because they don’t need to connect on a personal level, which is terrifying, they simply need information about the game and that is easy to ask. Maybe simply asking about Pokémon Go can lead to an actual real conversation.
But all the good effects that the game has for the emotional state of people, can be counteracted by its addictiveness. Like any other trend, popular game or social media, people get easily hooked and forget about reality. Not everybody is as susceptible to getting addicted, but a good majority is and as I was saying before I have seen many different people of different ages being excited about Pokémon Go. Accidents and weird things have already happened, because of people not paying attention to their surroundings and some blame Pokémon Go. But is it the game really? I mean people nowadays kept their heads mostly in their phones anyway, checking Facebook or Instagram, Tweeting their every activity, playing useless mobile games to avoid talking to others or even looking them in the eyes. Seriously, there has been so much propaganda against being addicted to our phones and not connecting with others except virtually, that Pokémon Go actually seems to be the “good guy” here.
Sure, it can be addictive, but at least if you need some information you’re going to have to ask a real human being, outside of your house for it. Hopefully, the game will never have a chat service and will work better after future updates. All in all, Pokémon Go does promote exercise and talking to others. It even helps people with mental disorders like depression or anxiety, although it’s not a treatment, it does give them some motivation to fight their disorder. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it will cure obesity or help people lose weight, but it sure does help keeping in shape and get some levels of healthy everyday activity. Even more, Pokéstops are usually landmarks or buildings that have some touristic information attached, which can be interesting for travelers. Basically, Pokémon Go actually does something good for people, even if it is just a mobile game that keeps us attached to out smartphones.