Pokémon Go: The benefits of 2016’s hottest summer craze

David Han, Opinions Editor

This summer, Pokémon GO took the world by storm. Released earlier this year by Niantic, Inc., Pokémon Go became an instant sensation across America; by June 2016, it had become one of the most downloaded apps on Apple’s App Store. This app differs from the thousands of others on the market due to its use of augmented reality. In other words, Pokémon Go features virtual objects in the real world. Therefore, players have to travel outside in order to catch digital Pokémons, or virtual creatures. While some critics have stated that the game is disruptive and dangerous to the public, the opportunities outweigh the doubts. From spending more time outside to meeting new people, this game allows individuals to enjoy a gaming experience in a healthy manner and bond with others.

“Pokémon go is really fun,” said junior Shiraz Johnson. “All the Pokémon are adorable, and nothing is better than the feeling of catching a rare Pokémon.”

Rather than spending hours in front of a screen, Pokémon Go encourages people to have same experience while walking outside. The game actually requires people to spend time outdoors in order to progress to higher levels, thereby motivating people to get out of the house. By catching Pokémon while walking outside, players can burn a few calories while enjoying the game.

“Lazy video gamers are given an opportunity to get out of their house and socialize with others in society”, said senior Daniel Young.

Many people are drawn to Pokémon Go because of nostalgia, as Pokémon cards (and the later TV show) originally became popular in the 90s and early 2000s.

Pokémon Go also features PokeStops, which are spots in certain real-life locations that will give players “pokeballs” and other rewards if they are in close proximity to them. These PokeStops are often located in areas with historical significance, such as statues and museums. This gives players the opportunity to become more knowledgeable as they discover more PokeStops. By traveling to various PokeStops both within and beyond the bounds of one’s hometown, people can learn more about historical landmarks in the world around them.

“Over the summer, when I went on a road trip, it was cool to see Pokémon Go point out important landmarks in the real world,” said Johnson.

At the height of Pokémon Go’s popularity, which occurred in June and July, many people were able to interact in public places such as parks, which were full of fellow Pokémon Go players. Additionally, there are multiple gyms where players can train their Pokémon. Pokémon Go is a game that players of any age can enjoy, and it promotes positive habits and allows players to meet new people.