Pokemon GO has undeniably caused a global phenomenon, but its fame came with perils. News about injuries acquired while playing the location-based augmented reality game are now common, but for a new study released by the British Medical Journal, Pokemon GO can greatly improve children’s health.
According to Telegraph, Dr. Margaret McCartney has noticed that Pokemon GO encourages sun-starved children to go out and play. She lauded the game for its effect to the streets of Britain.
“We all need real life connectivity, and the net can facilitate that. The possibilities for apps to make the streets an active, reclaimed playground in which to have interconnected fun are boundless. Increased physical activity is a tantalizing side effect.”
The family doctor is aware of the negative reports the Nintendo game is facing such as players getting lost while trying to catch prized virtual monsters. For McCartney, these reports shouldn’t conceal the health benefits of being immersed in Pokemon GO.
“We never hear about the things that didn’t happen. The heart attacks prevented through more exercise, or the vitamin D deficiency that geeks have avoided, blinking in the sunlight while catching a Pikachu monster.”
Some gamers have also reported that Pokemon GO helps them deal with depression and anxiety. Baltimore teacher Victoria Renee Wafe told Independent that the game allows her to come out of her shell.
“I loved the show as a child. Now Pokémon Go allows you to catch Pokémon in the real world. I have visited parts of my own city I never have before with this game. And for the first time in probably years I don’t feel nervous going up to people and starting up a conversation. I believe it is because I know we have something in common that’s fun too.”
While Pokemon GO is deemed a blessing for many, players must still be cautious. The creators of Pokemon GO are facing its first lawsuit filed by Jeffrey Marder. The complainant claims that strangers are now gathering outside his private residence in West Orange, New Jersey, in their pursuit of virtual monsters. Some players have even knocked on his door to access his backyard.
Marder’s lawsuit also mentions other people whose properties have been tagged as PokeStops or Pokemon Gyms. The lawsuit emphasizes that some of these people did not give their permission to be used as such.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum previously asked Pokemon GO makers to exclude the historical landmark in the game. Director of Communications Andy Hollinger asks visitors to not play the game when visiting the museum as it is “extremely inappropriate.” The Holocaust museum used to have three PokeStops that most likely lured gamers.
The nearby Arlington National Cemetery also requested its visitors to not play Pokemon GO on the grounds as a respect for the thousands of war veterans buried there.
Cambodia’s Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum also did the same thing by assigning guards on standby to ensure tourists would not play Pokemon GO in the former prison and torture center. The museum, where more than 12,000 victims have died during the Khmer Rouge rule, escorts violators of the rule outside the property. “This is a place of sorrow, not a place to play games,” said its director Chhay Visoth.
The game’s website offers a page where concerned individuals can submit requests for removal of PokeStops or PokeGyms.
Pokemon GO is continuously being rolled out to other parts of the world. On Saturday, the game was launched to 15 new countries including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau.
[Photo by Michael Loccisano / Getty Images]