Pokemon Go was a surprise hit. It was a Pokemon game so it was expected that it would get some hype, but not to the point of becoming a global phenomenon. People that would never consider themselves gamers were downloading the app and hunting for pokemon to add to their collection in the most wildly successful augmented reality game ever. Recent research shows that there might be a reason people keep logging in and chasing after the next catch: Pokemon Go apparently makes people happier, and happier people are more likely to play Pokemon Go.
A team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison surveyed a group of 399 adults last summer and came to the conclusion that playing the game “was associated with various positive responses (increased positive affect, nostalgic reverie, friendship formation, friendship intensification, and walking), most of which predicted enhanced well-being”
Participants were asked various questions, an overview of which we’ve listed below:
“Questions [were asked] about [subjects’] emotional and social lives and levels of physical activity before segueing into Pokemon. More than 40 percent of their respondents turned out to be Pokemon Go players, and those people were more likely to be exercising — walking briskly, at least — and more likely to be experiencing positive emotions and nostalgia. […] They were also more social. Players were more likely than non-players to be making new friends and deepening old friendships”
So it seems like your Pokemon Go obsession may actually be a good thing. Getting outside, exercising lightly, forming new friendship and spending more time with existing friends may allow for your Pokemon to make a happier you.
The player base of Pokemon Go has dropped drastically since the research on the game was conducted, but the developer seems committed to supporting the game and adding new features with hopes to recapture some of that hype. The most recent update is an Easter themed event which adds Pokemon in findable eggs.