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Dogs are like PokémonGO – Not the actual app but more specifically, but the two draw more parallels than you might imagine. One notable improvement that people have noticed since the local launch of PokémonGO in their areas, is the number of people out and about. You have to take your hat off to Niantic – the developers behind both PokémonGO & the previous iteration of the game Ingress. Why? Well they achieved what exercise apps, and gyms have been trying to do for a long time! They got people up and about – exercising, without worrying about counting steps or calories – simply living a more active lifestyle.   So what does this have to do with DOGS? Bare with me while we delve a little more into the behaviour of a PokémonGO player for a minute. They are out walking longer distances than they would otherwise. They are compelled to go for the walk even if they don’t initially feel like it. And they feel somewhat rewarded for having done the exercise.

OK OK – So PokémonGO won’t wake you up (unless you have some major addiction isssues), it won’t lick your face and it won’t eat your leftovers. Just like a dog it will however get you;

• Walking More (without realising how far)
• Talking to other players (with a shared interest)
• Feeling accomplished after your additional walks.

Starting to see the similarities yet?

PokémonGO

DOGS : People who walk their dogs tend to do this at similar times each day and walk similar routes, conversing and interacting with other dog walkers.
PokémonGO : Players are walking around the same areas with a common interest and much more likely to engage and interact with other players than they would necessarily outside of the game environment. I have witnesses this first hand, as ‘Are you playing PokémonGO’ has become a stock phrase & ice breaker when people are stood around on their phones in the city of Sydney.

DOGS : Man’s best friend requires a high level of exercise & as such gets the owners out and about walking much more – even when the mood doesn’t talk them.
PokémonGO : In the adventure of collecting Pokémon, earning points and collecting special items, people are going for longer walks and staying motivated, where exercise alone may not have been enough or a motivator.

DOGS : As any dog owner will tell you the love and affection you get upon return from ‘WALKIES’ is unending (well at least until dinner / the next WALKIES) And as such is an additional motivator to do go more often, but also creates a good feeling for doing something worthwhile
PokémonGO : When players return from their ‘missions’ (or walks) – there is a conversation to be had with their friends & fellow players about all the good stuff they just found, the Pokémon they captured & what their next adventure entails. This feeling of connectedness & accomplishment is somewhat like that of the affection received after taking the dog for a walk.

Has PokémonGO achieve way higher goals than it initially intended?

Could PokémonGO, whilst encouraging people to spend more screen time out and about, actually create a new level of community connectedness?

What are your thoughts?
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