Pokémon Go has Australians on their Feet. I will put it out there right now, that this free app has done more for getting people up and walking, than many of the government paid advertisements advising people that walking is good for their health has ever done.
But Australia is a Nanny State
The only thing that could dampen this new found enthusiasm for the great outdoors is that Australia is a nanny state, read this if you don’t believe me. In fact, Sportsbet is currently running bets, on which places will ban these Pokémon seekers, according to Business Insider.
Increase in people Outside
Just walking around our neighborhood, we have seen a massive increase in people exploring their natural environment. People are walking because Pokémon Go requires you to get outside and walk to catch the Pokémon, which is the aim of the game. The Pokémon Go are in the great outdoors, and so are Australians.
Ok, we may all be walking with our eyes glued to our screens as more and more Pokémon virtually appear on the path in front of us, but does that matter? The inherent online pharmacy mental health benefits of walking have been well and truly documented, but now we have an app that achieves what so many others have failed to do. Australian’s in vast numbers are on their feet.
People are even setting up deck chairs around gyms to play Pokémon Go .
Pokémon Go Outdoing other Social Media Platforms
Pokémon Go has hit the countries where it has been released in a big way, with more users currently more engaged with Pokémon Go than are currently using Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and even ..yes, Tinder. So that is saying a lot.
Why are we Playing?
How do I know this? Well after being unuable to avoid all of the media and social media mentions of Pokémon Go; and in the interests of keeping up with popular culture, not to mention research; we also downloaded the free app, and on our first day walked 10kilmetres. And we were not the only ones.
Not only did we have Pokémon on our screens but they were on the beach, in the bushes and the shops, churches and police station, … and we were with hordes of people doing the same thing. We spoke to many people on our first outing because we were all enjoying this pursuit of Pokémon. I would say judging by the palor of the skin of many of the people that we met, that they have not seen the sunlight for a long, long time.
So what is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon GO is a free app that you download and start playing. The aim is to walk out of your front door because it won’t work otherwise, and start wandering around looking for little creatures called Pokémon. You capture these and then eventually train them at places called gyms.
Pokémon Go was developed by Niantic Labs, and based on the Nintendo owned Pokemon, phenomena in its own right. Pokémon first appeared in the 1990’s. Pokemon was developed by Nintendo, and based on the Japanese love of catching bugs. In fact, the creator Satoshi Tajiri, loved bug hunting when he was young, and you can see this in the appearance of the bugs of the Pokémon.
Pokémon Go only appeared less than a week ago. The downloads in the Australia, NZ, and the UK where it is currently available is staggering. The staggering number of people out and about …and walking …. is even more staggering.
Because of the geo caching properties of this game, you stop at what are called PokéStops and get goodies to help you in your quest. These PokéStops are at lots of landmark locations, so you get to learn more of your local area as you wander.
Don’t Hate on Pokémon Go
While people might hate on Pokémon Go, and claim that they could do as much walking a dog, I would say …crap. It is well known that gamers rarely leave their rooms, so intent on winning the battle in whatever video game is the craze at the time. Well .. Pokémon Go has got these people out of their houses and got them out in droves. Facebook and Twitter are full of stories of parents in awe of the fact that their kids want to go walking, and that their teenagers have actually left their rooms. I wondered whether we were too old to be hunting Pokemon, but we aren’t. It is one of those apps that anyone can use and play ..and they do. Our 75-year-old neighbor got us to explain it and download it for him. Haven’t seen him since, as he is chasing a Charmander.
What a Fun Way to Discover a New place
When we head down to Canberra, and then onto to the snow at Perisher next week, we will look for the occasional Pokémon. Based on geo-caching, what better way is there to explore different destinations…if you occasionally lift your head up, and read what the signs say.
Pokémon Go has Australians on their Feet
Anyhow, I need to go for a walk. I like catching Pokémon; I am getting fitter by walking so much, and I am learning new things where I live. I am meeting lots of new and diverse people, and that is really pleasant. Well done Pokémon Go, you got Australian’s on their Feet, where others have failed before hand.
If you are a Pokemon Go Sceptic
You might like to read how one sceptic at The Freedom Travellers, converted to a Pokemon Go, and is loving it.