Pokemon Go Players are Awesome, According to Science

Fagjun | Published 2017-04-13 06:55

Do you play Pokemon Go? Then you better be great to hang out with.
[Photo by David Grandmougin]

Pokemon Go players are more likely to be nice, happy, friendly, and physically active, a new study finds.

Last year saw the rise of this extremely popular game that brought back a lot of memories for today's adults. We used to play with Pokemon trading cards and figurines, but it never came quite close to the actual experience of catching Pokemon.

The game's creators claim that there are now 65 million active game players and 650 million game downloads.

Like all things that become famous, Pokemon Go has its share of detractors. There were accounts of people walking around distracted, hurting themselves or others. This is definitely a negative aspect of the popular game. There's evidence, however, that Pokemon Go players may be some of the most positive people you'll meet.

A Game That Gets You Off the Couch

A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison began a study on Pokemon Go players shortly after the game's launch last year. The researchers say that in spite of the negative press, they saw players going around and having a grand old time.

"There's this idea that playing games and being on your phone is a negative social experience that detracts from things, but there haven't been many chances to ask large groups of players about their experiences," says James Alex Bonus, one of the researchers.

The team surveyed 400 people a mere three weeks after the game's launch. They asked participants about how Pokemon Go has affected their social and emotional lives as well as their physical activity. 40% of participants were Pokemon Go players who gave the researchers an interesting insight into life with Pokemon Go.

These players reported that, for one, they were definitely more active because of Pokemon Go. Playing the game requires players to walk around public places like parks and malls in order to “catch” Pokemon. If you want to play this game, you better be prepared to do a lot of walking. Now, walking may not be the same as putting in hours at the gym. However, it's far better than sitting for hours with a game controller in your hand.

Gotta Catch All 'Em Positivity

Pokemon Go players also said that they feel positive emotions when playing the game. Since the game brought memories of people's childhoods, it also triggered waves of nostalgia. Players were also more likely to feel satisfied with their lives.

The game was also an avenue for players to become more social. They were able to meet new people, make new connections, and strengthen existing bonds with old friends. After all, Pokemon Go may be fun even when you play solo, but it's better with friends.

The study also showed that people with social anxiety were not less likely to play Pokemon Go. This can mean that even if you're wary of meeting new people, Pokemon Go can make it easier to break out of your comfort zone.

The game experience encourages people to get out more and interact with more people than they usually do. Thus, Pokemon Go players are more likely to possess characteristics that make them awesome to be around.

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