I remember when Pokémon first came out in the 90s and was the hottest thing around. Back then, parents were telling their kids who were fanatics to put the game down and go play outside, and when the game Pokémon GO first came out and people weren’t paying attention to their surroundings and had accidents while crossing the roads, the parents were now saying put the game down and come back inside!
All jokes aside, a new study finds that catchin’ em all might actually be beneficial. This time, not just for bragging rights, or for the collection, but for helping to alleviate non-clinical forms of mild depression.
In this new study from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), specialists analyze the impact of location-based mobile games with respect to local depression patterns.
Involving the presentation of Pokémon GO as a contextual investigation, the specialists took advantage of the astonishing arrival of the game more than 50 weeks back in 2016 in 166 locals in 12 English-speaking countries. This made a whiz ‘control’ gathering of areas where the game hadn’t yet been released empowering the specialists to compare depression levels in these areas and regions where it was accessible.
The authors of the study measured local depression levels utilizing Google Trends information to work out the internet searches for gloom-related terms such as “sorrow”, “tension”, and “stress”, among others. The utilization of internet search information is a deep-rooted system for estimating mild depression in clinical and public health literature.
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The findings were that the arrival of Pokémon GO was related to a huge momentary reduction in the depression-related internet searches, and recommending area-based portable games might actually diminish the predominance of local rates of depression.
They contend that playing the area-based game and others like it might mitigate mild depression in users as they require outside physical activity, up close and personal socialization, and exposure to nature. Factors that have all been recorded as having a positive impact on mental wellness. It’s super effective!
— Good News Network (@goodnewsnetwork) May 1, 2022
Pokémon is one of those things that seems to just not go anywhere, because just when the kids who grew up with it move on, a new generation of children grow into it. It’s ever-expanding and is surprisingly the largest media franchise in the world! I suppose this comes as no surprise when you consider just how much it has going on. You’ve got the cards, games, TV shows, movies, toys, plushies, and so much more!
In fact, it seems as if the card game has been picking up steam after years of being what seemed to be dormant. Tons of new collectors sprung up during the pandemic, selling old and new cards, pushing the prices of cards through the roof – with the highest selling card in 2021 going for a Charizard that sold for over $350,000
These LSE discoveries highlight the emotional well-being opportunities of location-based games and how they can be utilized to help vulnerable individuals. Because of their user-friendly interface, high accessibility, and general minimal cost to create, the analysts say area-based games could be alluring subsidy targets for policymakers.
In the paper, distributed in the Journal of Management Information Systems, the creators were quick to emphasize that their discoveries only connect with those suffering from mild depression and not severe or chronic depressive issues.
One thing is for sure, and that’s that we might be able to look at grandma and grandpa and tell them that the ‘latest fad’ never went away, instead, it stayed, grew – and now might even possibly help mild depression.