A crazy past time or a healthy pursuit?

It’s the video game that has captured the attention of children and adults the world over.
Nanjing Night Net

All too regularly these days you will spot players –or “trainers”, as they call themselves –wandering down the street, through the park and up and down shopping aisles, phone in hand, in pursuit of their next catch.

Yes, even in the Clare Valley.

PokémonGo –if you haven’t heard about it yet, it’s only a matter of time…

The game has been a sensation in a sensational world (the games market worldwide grossed $6 billionin May), putting 25 per centon the value of Nintendo, the company that owns Pokémon, and downloaded so often in its first week that it is now on more smartphones than thedating app Tinder and has as many active users as Twitter.

I freely admit to being one of the biggest skeptics when this new craze hit the app store.

But then, I was also one of the skeptics of internet dating –and yet,theRSVP Date of the Nation Report 2014 shows online dating is the second most preferred way to meet a new partner these days.

So how could (yet another) smartphone game be of any benefit to today’s society?

It’s a good question, and one that begs an answer.

WhenPokémonGo first reared its virtual head, it was easy to dismiss as “just another” video game.

The next reaction, naturally, was the dangerous implications of numerous game players roaming the streets with their face firmly fixed on their phone screen, in search of that elusive rare creature.

Granted, this is still a very serious concern –but at some stage, you would hope common sense kicks in for those in the midst of a “Poké hunt”.

But explore the situation a little further, and there could actually be some benefits to this virtual phenomenon.

At the very least, this game is encouraging individuals who may have had a tendency to sit on the couch playing video games, to venture outside their front doors –and front yards.

Sure, it might not be high intensity exercise –but at least it’s exercise of some sort, and it’s more exertive than moulding yourself to the couch, eyes firmly fixed on the TV.

So maybe thisPokémonGo thing isn’t all bad. I’m not sure, I haven’t triedit.

Have you?

–CARLA WIESE-SMITHThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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