Pokémon Go is a free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. In the game, players use a mobile device's GPS capability to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on the screen as if they were in the same real-world location as the player.
It quickly became a global phenomenon and was one of the most used mobile apps, reportedly having been downloaded by more than 100 million people worldwide. it has also attracted controversy for contributing to accidents and becoming a public nuisance at some locations. Multiple governments expressed concerns over the game's security, and game was banned in some countries as a result.
The game is already getting blamed for some injuries, criticized over data privacy issues, and implicated in crimes, as a few people have used the game to lure players to locations to rob them.
- It gets you outside, but you’re still on your phone. While the app does encourage outdoor play, you’re still plugged into technology.
- Playing the app makes you more distracted. The app itself features a disclaimer cautioning you to be alert and aware of where you’re going while you’re playing, but there have already been reports of injuries incurred when playing the game.
- The game puts you in a heightened "stressed" state. Since you’re technically trying to find and catch something, your body is most likely in a fight-or-flight state, meaning your adrenaline is pumping and your heart rate is a bit higher than usual.
- The game could exacerbate symptoms for people who have difficulty separating reality and fantasy. The game blends elements of reality with virtual/fantasy elements, so it can be confusing for those who already have difficulty distinguishing out what is real or not, specifically people who may have psychotic symptoms.