By now we’ve all either witnessed the craze sweeping the nation or been caught in the Pokéball contagion ourselves.
That’s right, Pokémon Go launched and instantly turned viral thanks to the adopting nature of it’s target market; Millennials and Generation Z.
Harnessing nostalgia, GPS and VR tech has proved epidemic.
I haven’t yet fallen prey to the addiction as an adult, although I was seriously affected as a child. I spent hours swapping and collecting the cards in the school playground – at least until they were banned – and afterwards caught and trained the virtual Japanese monsters on my Nintendo SP (remember those?!)
Since then I’ve become fascinated with the psychological applications of gaming and Virtual Reality tech, especially after studying a module of CyberPsychology at University.
The negativity around gaming is always focused on the violent, anti-social and obesity aspects. Granted, there has been reports of gun-point robbery, traffic congestion and trespassing as Trainers converge on Pokémon infested lands and Gyms. There’s no doubt the dangers and risks of this are horrendous.
However gaming in general can have pro-social, cognitive distraction and psychological benefits.
The dawn of the Pokémon revival is ensuring cooperative and friendly game play, as well as encouraging physical activity as gamers explore their neighbourhoods seeking out the virtual monsters in our real world.
Plus, if you manage to screenshot selfies with your favourites then it’s a win-win situation!
Although we do need to be wary of our behaviour, I believe that any light and nostalgic relief, which can be brought to the world in this age of terror and unrest, has the potential to make even a small difference to people’s lives!
Have you caught the contagion? Or have you caught ’em all? Comment and let me know 🙂
Read more about the science behind Pokémon Go here!