It was great to see some of my favourite Pokémon from my childhood appear again. But even better was seeing Pokémon in "real life!" Walking my dog just got more exciting. With Pokémon around us and stops where we could collect more Pokéballs and trainer items, dog walks just got 10000x more fun.
But here was the catch: Each one of these eggs could only be hatched once I had walked 2 or 5 kilometres. The kilometres walked reflect the incubation time needed for the eggs to be ready. Wait. I have to walk 5k?!? Riding in the car does not cheat the system either. The GPS tracker in the game knows when you are moving a certain speed where you are not using your feet/bicycle/scooter to get around, and will not track the distance to hatch the eggs:
So after playing Pokémon GO for one week, I noticed a few things. After walking 10km, I received a medal from the game saying "Congratulations, you have walked 10km!" If only there was a way to reward clients this way for doing exercise, right?
Observing what Pokémon GO has done for players has been interesting for me as a health professional because of the miraculous (and ironic) way this video game has gotten people outdoors and moving. This is considering the fact that less than 7% of children and youth meet the guideline of 60 minutes of physical activity per day, 6 days a week (Statistics Canada, 2009). And those who were once too self-conscious to get outside and move now have something to take the focus away from the self, turning attention to catching these little pocket monsters, as reported by The Guardian. And better yet, despite all the criticism about the danger of not being aware of your surroundings when playing the game, I am all about being smart about things. There is a reason why there is a warning that comes about personal safety as the game loads. Don't be an idiot. A Pokémon is not worth your life!
But perhaps most importantly, I find the game fun. Everyone likes to have fun, right?
Because of the high amount of battery life this game uses, carrying around a portable phone charger proved to be useful for me. As I continue to play the game, I look forward to seeing what new Pokémon I will find to add to my collection. For readers, if you have found a Growlith, Ponyta and or a Lapras, leave me a comment and tell me where and how you caught it!
Have you tried Pokémon GO? What are your thoughts on it? Leave me a comment below!