Crisply Current — Pokemon GO

pokemon-figurine
A lively description of the latest trend was written by David Bartosiak:

Pokemon is short for Pocket Monsters… This Pokemon Go mobile game is the latest installation and brings with it a major paradigm shift. It’s the first blockbuster augmented reality game.

Augmented reality is a cross between mundane reality and full-tilt virtual reality. Apparently, this game involves locating 151 imaginary creatures who are superimposed over the bricks-and-mortar environment through the magic of smartphone technology.

Another description is from Mark Boresi of ChicagoParent.com who describes Pokemon GO as:

[…] a game for your handheld device that uses GPS and your camera to make Pokemon (little magical anime-looking creatures) appear around you (on the screen). You can catch them in virtual “Pokeballs,” which you collect, along with other items, by standing near predetermined real world locations which your phone will identify.

Believe it or not, this is a video game that encourages fitness. You have to actually walk to play.

Boresi writes that his daughter “delights in recalling what real world landmarks are pictured on the app as Pokestops and then racing to them.” The game is said to affect people of all ages. It gets them outside and moving around. They explore their neighborhoods and make new friends.

Chris Weller notes that people who generally self-identify as couch potatoes are into the game, and adds:

Players need to travel to Pokestops and gyms, hatch eggs, gain medals, and outperform their friends. Even the slogan of the game — “Gotta catch ’em all” — serves as a “prompt to form an intention…” The biggest way “Pokemon GO” promotes physical activity is its system of endless rewards, evolving, and leveling up.

It’s actually all about behavior modification, which many people are wary of on principle, but which may be a better alternative to unnecessary suffering. If a game can inspire people to become more fit, why not? But there are other downsides.

In Wisconsin, journalist Andew Dawson looked into situation. The local police speak of curfew violations, suspicious people, trespassing, and the like, and strongly hint that Pokemon GO is responsible. One drawback is that the app purposely lures people together, including human predators. One officer is quoted as saying there has been “an increase in people in parks and other areas of the village,” which is not necessarily a bad thing.

The game is criticized for taking people to dangerous locations, but locations become hazardous because they are deserted. Why shouldn’t everybody take back the night? Imagine if people were truly free to exercise at night, because maybe that fits in with their work shift, or because in the summer it’s cooler outside at night. There have been worse ideas, in the history of fitness.

Another serious problem is that the game uses up a lot of juice. Depending on what kind of phone plan a person has, it can become expensive.

Genuine mom Jen Mcguire writes:

It is truly a good time. It’s not a difficult game to follow along, which means you aren’t going to be straining your brain too hard. Essentially, users track Pokemon hiding within their local flora and fauna with their phone’s GPS, and, once they’ve found the erstwhile little Pocket Monsters they have to catch them with their phone. Which means you’ve got to get outdoors if you want to find the little critters — they will not be coming to you.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “The Old Guys Guide to Pokemon Go,” Zacks.com, 07/12/16
Source: “Pokemon GO: 7 things a parent needs to know,” ChicagoParent,com, 07/12/16
Source: “‘Pokemon GO’ may have gotten kids more active in a week than the White House has in years,” TechInsider.io, 07/13/16
Source: “Imaginary Pokemon causing some real world issues,” JournalTimes.com, 07/13/16
Source: “Do You Have To Go Outside To Play Pokemon Go?,” Rompercom, 07/13/16
Photo credit: nina.jsc via VisualHunt.com/CC BY

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
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Presentations

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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