Pokemon Go, A Month In

Pokemon Go has been out for a month now and it would be an understatement to say that the game has done well. Developers Niantic created a game that has been downloaded over 100 million and times and sees a daily revenue of $1.6 million. So yeah, the game is doing well. Not only is it doing great things for business, but it is also doing great things for health. I’ve seen more kids outside in the past month than I have over the past 5 summers combined.

The past month hasn’t all been up’s for Pokemon Go. Along with perceived security threats regarding players google accounts, there were people using the app to mug players, people accused of trespassing, people getting into accidents while driving and being poke masters, and people getting hit by cars and blaming the game. I saw an article out of Minnesota claiming people playing the game in a Veterans park were being disrespectful. Even in my own city people are upset at the number of people playing in a local hot spot; a park with eight pokestops and a gym all within one square mile. Pile on a load of server issues and you would think this game would be DOA.

Most of those things are small isolated incidents that could be avoided using common sense, while others can be blown out of proportion. The fact remains, people are outside, exploring, walking, being active. It shook up many people sedentary lifestyles. There was a man in New York who caught every available pokemon in the U.S. by walking no less than 8 miles a day. There was also a story recently about a mother who has found a new connection with her autistic son with the help of Pokemon Go. I have found more excuses to go for walks, park father away at work and not be content sitting on the couch after a long day. My wife and I plan “hunting dates” where we can escape the kids for an hour and just walk. It added a layer of wonder and excitement on walks with the kids, who are always in amazement at the strange creatures all around us but haven’t seen until a month ago and love seeing what they will find. That park I talked about is filled with hundreds of people not sitting at home on the couch, nightly. I see people bonding over something that they may have loved as a kid or are just discovering now and it is wonderful. So if all you have seen in the past month are the negative stories or you just think it’s another app gluing people to their phones, I can promise you it is something great and wonderful. In a country where obesity is an epidemic, why wouldn’t people welcome anything to get people up and moving and connecting.


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