Pokémon GO. No one really knows where it came from. Some say that John Hanke created it to boost Nintendo shares 25% and pioneer AR gaming, while others maintain it’s simply Gozer’s new form of global destruction. Either way, its record breaking success is awe-inspiring, and it has caused quite a stir in the media, raising questions like “when does it become too much?”, “what benefits can it have”, and “why are millennials congregating near fountains?” Here are some pros, cons and tips to know:
- Many are reporting improvements in mental health. It appears that the increased walking and pleasant gameplay of Pokémon GO has helped to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression in some, and has also served as a form of quality time between friends and loved ones.
- Collaborative and PVP gaming improve social skills. Pokémon GO fans have begun organizing events for people to meet and share in their interests together. This is a great way to expand your social domain and, if need be (e.g., on the autism spectrum), work on social skills in a comfortable environment.
Great for casual exercise. 2km? 5km? 10km?! That egg aint gonna hatch itself.
- This game requires moderation. Collection and level-up games like Pokémon GO have the highest potential for intrusive, addictive gameplay. If you’re playing more than 1-2 hours a day, you may need to reassess your training schedule. Furthermore, depending on conditions, it can kill a standard iPhone battery in 80 minutes and use 20MB of data per hour.
- This game KILLS! That’s a bit hyperbolic, but so far poor spatial awareness has lead to serious injuries (e.g., walking into oncoming traffic) and, in some cases, death (e.g., walking off a cliff!). So, be mindful of your surroundings.
- Stop playing in your car, ya goof. It’s not just you — 85% of players admit to playing in their car, while 15% lie about playing in their car. And no, you’re not a good multi-tasker. Stop telling everyone that.
- Going 14mph or less counts as walking re: eggs.
- The most effective way to gain XP is by cannibalizing delicious Pidgeys.
- You can choose Pikachu at the beginning if you run away from Squirtle etc. 4 times.
P.S. To the curmudgeons who can’t resist hating on Pokémon GO players. Shush. Let people enjoy things.