The number one complaint among parents of video gaming generations is that their kids aren’t getting enough exercise. Most gamers spend hours in front of the television, staring at the screen as their fingers and thumbs do all the work. Thanks to a new conceptual app called Pokémon Go, gamers are getting exercise more than ever.
Pokémon Go is a free-to-play mobile game designed for Android and iOS smartphones. Developed by Niantic, it’s taken several generations of video gamers by storm—essentially anyone who ever watched the Pokémon anime series, or played the vast selection of Pokémon branded video games.
The idea behind traditional Pokémon shows and games is to capture those often-adorable little monsters, known as Pokémon, and use them to fight against an opponent’s monsters. In this new Pokémon Go game, players are actually able to travel all around the world – from Japan, to France, to the USA – capturing Pokémon on their mobile devices.
How Does It Work?
Imagine a GPS map viewed on a mobile device, with an avatar situated on the screen to mark your location. Players are able to customize their avatar for a more unique gameplay experience. Then, as a player walks around in the real world (getting exercise along the way), their avatar moves with them on the screen.
The device’s bluetooth and geolocation systems are used to track the player’s movements and display sensors whenever a Pokémon is nearby. Once the player is in close proximity, they can tap the sensor on the screen and attempt to catch the Pokémon.
Once captured, players can train their Pokémon, battle them against other players and trade monsters with other users.
Developers are also working on a separate wearable device, called Pokémon Go Plus, to enhance a player’s experience during gameplay. Retailing for USD $34.99, Nintendo.com reported that they’ve already sold out of stick, and the device won’t even ship until next month.
Pokémon Go Not Just for Kids
Chances are you’ve noticed a vast number of people – some traveling in groups, others alone – walking the neighborhood with their mobile phones in hand. Odds are they are playing Pokémon Go, and more often than not, they aren’t kids.
The age range of people fascinated with this new mobile gaming craze is incredible. We’ve seen kids traveling with parents, groups of teenagers, and more often than not, millennials aged 18-34 roaming the streets – getting much needed exercise – to capture their favorite monsters like the lovable Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Squirtle and Sweet Evee.
Fitness Trackers: Steps Skyrocket
For those who are playing Pokémon Go already, if you happen to own a FitBit or other fitness tracking device, chances are the number of steps you’ve taken per day has increased immensely since the mobile game was released last week – especially over the weekend.
PokémonGo on Twitter (@CatchEmAll) posted this morning:
— PokemonGo™ (@CatchEmAlI) July 11, 2016
Twitter, Facebook and other social media websites have been blowing up with posts about the new mobile game all weekend, many relating to the level of fitness users are achieving as they play.
“If you see me out running it’s not because I’m getting in shape for cross country, it’s because I’m playing Pokemon,” said one person on Twitter.
Another questioned, “Did I really walk 13 km yesterday… These Pokemon are getting me in shape”.
“I ran for a good minute or two yesterday for Pokemon Go and my lower legs are sore. I could blame my shoes or accept how unfit I am,” said a third, and these are just a few examples of the countless posts from Pokémon Go players who find themselves getting exercise at an incurable rate they never expected.