The mobile game Pokemon Go and other augmented reality systems greatly increase the desire of gamers to move and maintain a high level of physical activity. Japanese sociologists write about this in the Journal of Medical Internet Research .
“Game developers and city planners can incorporate our findings into their work, as we’ve clearly shown that Pokemon Go and other augmented reality systems thrive where classic outdoor or outdoor games fail. These activities can take gamers into the world of sports and the physical activity, “said Kimihiro Hino of the University of Tokyo, Japan.
Pokemon Go was released by Niantic in July 2016, making it one of the first mainstream mobile games to use “augmented reality” technologies to connect the virtual and real worlds. In the first months after its release, it was very popular – in a short time, it was downloaded and installed by over half a billion people.
The first observations of the “Pokemon”, which were carried out by American scientists in the fall of 2016, revealed an interesting effect. On average, her fans walked about a thousand steps more than other people, but this beneficial effect faded after 5-6 weeks of hobby for Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go game. Archive photo
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Hino and his colleagues randomly confirmed the findings of their American colleagues and found that sometimes the beneficial effects of “augmented reality” last much longer, observing the behavior and daily movement of approximately 2,600 residents of Yokohama, one of the major Japanese cities.
To do this, scientists handed out special bracelets to volunteers that monitored their level of physical activity, and asked them to lead a normal life. In addition, they conducted several simple surveys among them to assess their lifestyle and attitudes towards various kinds of sports hobbies and other hobbies.
These observations began back in 2014, and about two years later, Pokemon Go came out. Its creators immediately began to claim that the game improves the physical condition of its fans. These bold claims caught the attention of Hino and his colleagues, and they decided to test them with the help of volunteers.
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After selecting two hundred random participants in this project, scientists found that quite a lot of them, about fifty people, loved Pokemon and played Pokemon Go. After selecting another two hundred people with similar income levels, bad habits and age, Hino and his colleagues tested how the game influenced the behavior of gamers.
It turned out that Pokemon lovers, despite a rather respectable average age – it was close to 56-57 years – were noticeably more active than the rest of the participants in the observations. On average, they took 300-400 more steps, which corresponds to about 5% of the daily value.
Nintendo’s Pokemon Go game application on a mobile phone screen
Scientists: Pokemon Go temporarily helps improve physical fitness
Observations of players in Pokemon Go showed that this game helped them to improve their physical condition for a short time, shedding a few extra pounds due to the fact that they walked about a kilometer more than usual every day.
Interestingly, unlike the experiments in the United States, the beneficial effects of augmented reality persisted for about six months or even eight months. At the same time, the level of physical activity of “Pokemon” did not fall during the winter, which was typical for other residents of Yokohama, which also had a beneficial effect on their health.