By Amar Ichangimath
For the uninitiated, Pokémon Go is a location-based augmented reality game developed for both Android as well as iOS by an American Software Development company Niantic, Inc. It has gained widespread acclaim and has almost attained a cult status in the world of gaming and entertainment.
What makes this game unique?
It’s a location-based gaming – that is when you walk around the streets of whatever city or town you live in, your avatar moves inside the game. So in the times when most children are glued to their play stations indoors, this game has compelled them to get off the couch and walk down the block.
Mirroring your real life surroundings, the game uses Google Maps technology to place your avatar on a virtual world. When you find a Pokemon, the game uses augmented reality to make it look like it is indeed standing right there in front of you.
Helping Parents bond with their Children:
A surprising fact about this game is that it is enabling parents to bond with their children in a better way.
A recent survey conducted by Association for Computing Machinery’s CHI 2017, suggested that parents who regularly play Pokémon Go with their children, reported a number of benefits like decrease in stress levels, more time spent exercising outdoors, increased family bonding, etc. Since the game is location-based, there is no option but to play it outdoors and not in the confines of the house, which has led to these surprising benefits. Perhaps this is what makes the game stand out from other games like Temple Run, Angry Birds, etc.
Also, most parents will agree that having a shared interest with their children, particularly at ages when communication can become tricky is a big boon. If you have prior knowledge about and experiences with Pokemon characters, your children will view you as valuable experts. And obviously, it’s a game that can not only motivates your children to go out and exercise in ways that fit into their lives, but you will also witness their newfound enthusiasm for walking rather than driving to dinner or playground.
So get outside and catch every Pokemon. Go!