Pokemon continues to be an encaptivating franchise for all ages since its Japanese launch in 1996 and its North American launch in 1998. The newest edition to the series, Pokemon Go, has people going all over the place in search for Pokemon. Whether they’re in your backyard, down the street, or hiding in your toilet, Pokemon are everywhere and ya gotta catch em’ all! Pokemon has always been aimed heavily at younger children, and Pokemon Go has the potential to do a lot of good for the younger generations.
With childhood obesity being a prominent issue in the world right now, kids need to start going out more. Pokemon Go is a great way for children to grab a group of friends, find a safe place, and go out on a hunt for Pokemon! The world is full of PokeStops and gyms, which can be found at famous, or not-so-famous, landmarks. The PokeStops give the trainer supplies, like Pokeballs, potions, elixers, revives, and eggs, while the gym gives players a place to fight and train pokemon. The trainers will be forced to go out and explore their surrounding area if they want to level up and get the most out of the game.
Aside from catching Pokemon and going to all the PokeStops and gyms, eggs also play a major role in the game. An egg will hatch after it is placed in an incubator and has traveled a far enough distance. There are 2Km, 5Km, and 10Km eggs, which encourage players to go for jogs or long walks in order to get their reward. As a child who suffered from depression, I was always in my room. I felt comfortable playing games and I could talk to all of my friends while sitting on my bed with my XBox 360. If Pokemon Go had been available to me back then, I feel like I would have benefited greatly from playing it. I could have pushed past the four walls of my room and gone out to socialize. The comfort and safety I felt from gaming would still be present on my phone, but I would be engaging in face-to-face interactions with my friends, as well as being healthy and active.
Is this app a cure for depression? No, absolutely not. Could it be used as a tool? I don’t see why not. This can easily be used to help gamers suffering from depression ease their way back into being comfortable with leaving the house. It offers them the opportunity to do something that they’re passionate about, take healthy steps forward in their life physically, and help the emotional transition from the desire to be secluded to healthy assimilation back into social situations.