While fitness tracking devices have been maligned as a questionable return on investment in the quest for increased intensity of workouts and subsequent health benefits, a new study allegedly shows that Pokémon Go players are becoming healthier in proportion to time logged into the game. According to a New York Daily News article, Go players are taking 26% more steps than their sedentary desktop gaming counterparts.
Whether or not a leisurely stroll through the park or conglomerating in a mall to catch an elusive prize equates to an increase in actual fitness level is up for debate, especially when weighed against traditional exercises and physical activities such as running, biking and swimming. It may be a stretch, but staring into the screen of a phone or device while employing freelance bi-pedal motion is a prime example of the health risks far outweighing the slight rewards.
Historically, the gaming industry has attempted to capture a physically active audience, beginning with the release of Nintendo’s Power Pad in the late 1980’s. With the variety of apps for phones and devices currently on the market devoted to enhancing workouts, a gap exists between individuals actively participating in sports and activities based in reality and those attempting to simulate life experiences through the digital medium. As Pokémon Go is the literal next step as a viral product eliciting positive results and simultaneously engaging end-users within the duality of fantasy and the real world, gaming companies need to focus on evolving products that favor a majority of reality over the implications of a contrived existence. A true world view and perspective cannot be forged within the pixelated confines of a tiny screen.
Read the full New York Daily News article here.