Examining the impact of Pokémon Go on the Physical Health and Social Interaction among College students

With the advent of the television, computers, and video games, people’s lifestyle has become increasingly sedentary, which however, is linked to many diseases and ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Therefore exergames, such as Wii and Kinect, have been developed to encourage people to engage in physical activities, primarily indoors. In summer 2016, Pokémon Go was launched on smartphones and became the top mobile game with over 7 million downloads in the first week. Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game that places digital Pokémon creatures in real world locations, where players can catch them. Therefore players have to navigate and move around in streets and cities in order to catch these creatures, resulting in increased physical activities. Pokémon Go can be played individually or in a team, making it a social tool as well.Given its potential in promoting healthy lifestyle, we are interested in examining the social and physical impacts of this game, particularly among college students. We plan to conduct semi-structured interviews with college students who play Pokémon Go to acquire a better understanding of their gaming experience. Our goal is to develop design guidelines for similar games to promote physical activities and social interactions.

Project Information

Type of Project: Research

Target Population: Young Adults Adults

Start Date: 11/15/16

Principal Investigators: Charlotte Tang

Lead Institution: University of Michigan - Flint; Computer Science

Project Partners
Contact Information

Email: tcharlot@umflint.edu