Pokémon GO! A Nurse’s Viewpoint
I am sure by now you have heard about the latest craze taking the world by storm: Pokémon Go. ( link: http://www.pokemongo.com/en-us/ )
Since the game has been released, it has boomed into one of the most talked about subjects online. If you were like me, being a child growing up in the 90's and early 2000's, you probably had a GameBoy, all the Pokémon games, AND collected the trading cards. When someone showed me the game, I was so thrilled to be able to relive my childhood happiness.
So, what does Pokémon Go have to do with healthcare, you ask?
It is so intriguing, fun, and exciting that it has gotten more people off of the couch and being active than I have seen in a long time, myself included! Doctors, nurse practitioners, and nurses alike have been trying to convince their patients and the general public to get active for years, but due to the fast-paced lifestyle that most people have, nobody ever makes time for exercise. All it took was an enticing game that requires you to walk and capture crazy creatures. On one of my first adventures catching Pokémon at a local park, I actually met an older gentleman who recently had a stroke, and this game convinced him it was time to get out of the house and start walking again. How awesome is that?
It has also had quite the impact on mental health, as far as I have seen and experienced for myself. Pokémon Go has been encouraging young adults who suffer from anxiety and depression to leave their comfort zones and socialize, without feeling embarrassed, out of place, or anxious due to the simple common ground that we all share while playing this game...CATCHING ALL THE POKÉMON! The game has three teams: Mystic, Valor, and Instinct, which brings people together even more to battle each other's Pokémon. (GO MYSTIC!)
"It (Pokémon Go) gave me a reason to exercise instead of watching Netflix, and hang out with my friends when usually I am a hermit." -Brittanie McInnis, my best friend and also a fellow Pokémon trainer 😉
In my humble opinion, as a nurse, if an app is what gives people of any age incentive to be active, socialize, discover new places, and gives them genuine happiness and excitement, I give it two very enthusiastic thumbs up!
A few things I must say:
- Please be aware of your surroundings, even if you are in your own yard. (I tripped in a hole)
- Watch out for people who will use this game to their advantage and try to hurt you or a friend. Stay in groups. BUDDY SYSTEM!
- Do not Pokémon and drive. Get yourself a designated driver, and let your front passenger keep track of your phone.
- Please, please, PLEASE, do not wander onto private property without permission, night or day.
- Be respectful of the law and your city. Pick up your trash and do not break any laws.
Now, let's go hatch some eggs and capture some rare Pokémon!