It has been about a month now since the release of Pokemon Go—and many people have mixed opinions of this app. If you are unfamiliar with the app, it is an augmented reality game where your purpose is to explore your town to find randomly spawning Pokemon. Through the journey of becoming a Pokemon Trainer, you also can level up your Pokemon with candies, battle gyms, loot pokestops for items, and hatch eggs with the possibility of getting a rare Pokemon.

Now, with a new type of game that makes you actually move and get out of your house, there will always be praise and criticism, depending on a person’s experience and what they have heard of the game. Nevertheless, I have come up with 5 Reasons Pokemon Go is GREAT and more than just a game!

It makes you get active. You actually have to get up and leave your house to be somewhat successful in this game. This is a great opportunity to go out and get some fresh air, or go for a jog by the lakeshore! For some people, playing Pokemon is their initiative to go out and be active. Some may argue that this is a horrible reason to want to become active, but hey, to each their own! If it takes an app like Pokemon Go to inspire someone to get active, why not let them enjoy it?

It makes you explore your own city. Finding Pokestops is somewhat like a city scavenger hunt. In the process of trying to loot items, you are brought to some pretty neat monuments, buildings, churches, and murals around your city. If you visit Downtown Oshawa, for example, there are handfuls of Pokestops dedicated to murals, decorated fire hydrants, and many entertainment venues.

It helps small businesses. Are you a small business owner? Did you know that other small business owners are taking advantage of this Pokemon craze to bring more customers and sales? Some businesses take advantage of Pokemon Go players by providing them a small discount if they show their Pokemon Go profile at the time of purchase. Others provide free WiFi to customers (who make purchases) and play the game—this is especially taken advantage of if there is a Pokestop in close range of your business.

It helps create community. Have you been to the Oshawa Lakeshore Park recently? Or Veterans Point Gardens in Ajax? There are hundreds of people down there every night playing Pokemon together. While it may seem like kind of a nuisance, it’s nice to see people of our community, of all ages and cultures, getting together. On numerous trips I’ve taken to both locations, I have ran into many people I haven’t seen since I was a teenager, which was really nice. It is also an overall welcoming atmosphere. People willingly put up Lures (a potion-like module set on a Pokestop for others to use that attract Pokemon) for the whole community to use and once that Lure ends, someone else willingly adds their own so the rest of the community can enjoy it all together. People also meet new friends, chat about what Pokemon they have caught, and even announce what Pokemon have spawned so others know what to expect. I have seen people of all age groups bonding with one another and watching it just warms my heart. It’s so nice to be able to leave your house and spend some time with those who are part of your community.

It Fulfills The Childhood Dream of Becoming A Pokemon Trainer. Don’t kid me—I know at some point in your life, no matter how old or young you are, you wanted to be a Pokemon Trainer. Now, in the most possible manner that tech allows, you can “travel across the land searching far and wide” for these Pokemon!

Pokemon Go has many benefits to our lives and our community. It is much more than just a game. But please remember, when playing, don’t Pokemon and Drive and always be cautious when on your travels!

About the Author

Jennifer Liwanag is a fourth year Legal Studies student minoring in Communications & Digital Media Studies at the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology. While her childhood dream has been to pursue law, she has an undying love for writing, creativity, discovering new gadgets and learning new software. You can keep up to date with her digital and creative lifestyle on her personal blog (www.jennibearrxo.com/) where she shares her new favourite gadgets and crafty projects.