VANCOVUER (NEWS 1130) – Pokémon Go fever has officially taken over and has enticed millions of players to get outside and get some exercise.
But that’s not the only benefit of the augmented reality smartphone game.
It also has some mental health benefits and has been shown to help with symptoms of depression and social anxiety.
“Players need to get outside in order to play the game. That’s really responsible for this amazing social contagion of the game, but it also seems to be impacting people’s mental health as well,” says Luke Clark, the director of the centre for gambling research at UBC.
Lack of activity is one of the core symptoms of depression and by getting players out and about, the symptoms could be reduced.
“Some of the things that we’re getting anecdotal reports of are people experiencing depression or social anxiety who are saying playing Pokémon Go can actually improve their mental health.”
He says he would like to see more research on the impacts of video games–including how they could help with aggression and other behavioural issues.