Pokémon GO or Stand Still?

Is Pokémon Go Still a Thing?

If you don’t know what Pokémon Go is by now, you may be trapped under a rock. The game shot up to one of the top grossing apps on the Apple app store shortly after its launch. When the augmented reality game first debuted, it was riddled with problems. The main issue was the fact that Niantic, the developers of the game, didn’t have enough server power to let everyone who wanted to play, play. Niantic has also been slow to release updates and get the game to a point where it is playable day after day. When the game was first launched, you could walk outside and see droves a people trying to “catch’em all,” but now it’s only the extremely dedicated that walk for miles to find a new Pokémon. Niantic had made an announcement saying new Pokémon were being added. It turned out only being eight new ones instead of the over 100 people were hoping for.

Pokémon GO released their update for the holiday season on December 12th and fans aren’t happy. The update only includes a few minor changes, two of those being mass transferring of unwanted Pokémon and baby Pokémon. Die-hard fans were expecting a lot more from the game, with many calling for the release of legendary Pokémon and the release of the second generation of Pokémon. Even more are upset with how baby Pokémon were introduced–you have to hatch the Pokémon from eggs which requires you to walk anywhere between 2-10km. Some have even argued that adding baby Pokémon to the egg system make the game even more pay-to-play. No matter how you feel about the game, Niantic is under heavy pressure to make Pokémon Go live up to the childhood dreams of millions of people. We may just have to keep waiting and see what they do.

As for the benefits of Pokémon Go a study published by *The BMJ* (formerly the British Medical Journal) stated that Pokémon Go increased physical activity for players ages 18 to 35 in the US, although that increase didn’t last long. During the first week players had the game they would on average take 1,000 more steps a day than they did a month before downloading it. The studies researchers found that nearly all traits including age, race, sex, and location (suburban, urban, or rural) had no effect on the activity levels. While the physical benefits did not last long the game does offer real help for people suffering from mental health issues including anxiety and depression. If you want a slight boost in your physical activity and help with your mental wellbeing Pokémon Go may be a good option.