Pokémon Go cheaters! You could be missing out on important health benefits

Reports of cheating in Pokémon Go aren’t really surprising lately considering that multiple third party apps allow cheaters to amass large number of Pokémons without going out and about searching for them in the augmented world.

Cheating is morally long, but were aren’t going to lecture you on that. This story is about something else. Pokémon Go isn’t just about leisure and collecting Pokémons, but there are more benefits to it than anyone would have imagined says an expert.

Tom Baranowski, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, has penned an editorial wherein he has identified many lessons that can be learned from the success of Pokémon Go. Dr. Baranowski says that players effectively can log hours of walking as they physically chase Pokémons based on the directions they get in the game.

“Pokémon Go stimulated substantial amounts of physical activity in many likely-otherwise sedentary game players without intending to! We might call this stealth exergame programming, and we have a lot to learn about how to achieve this!” says Dr. Baranowski.

The expert encourages researchers to conduct well-designed studies to assess the health effects of active video games (AVGs). Game developers could then use this information to create new games that would be both fun to play and promote beneficial physical activity.

Dr Baranowski points out that while the game has been criticised by a few for the distracted behaviour – walking as well as driving – the game has generated substantial interest in the medical and public health communities about whether this game has triggered new, higher levels of sustainable PA for health benefits.

The researcher hopes that at some point academic-industrial liaisons or even alliances could be created such that researchers would have adequate forewarning and funding to conduct prospective evaluations of the releases of new AVG on public health. Such alliances could redound to the benefit of both the academics (e.g. innovative exciting public health relevant research publications) and the company(ies) (e.g. media reports of positive health outcomes to attract more product purchases).

Latest News