Pokemon Go: Increasing physical activity in the US, blockaded in China

Is Pokemon Go making you healthier? Maybe not yet, but researchers from a Stanford/Microsoft team have determined that Pokemon Go play correlates with increased physical activity and exercise. They tracked data from 32,000 Microsoft Band users for three months to determine that "engaged users" increased their activity on average nearly 1500 per day, allowing them to suggest that the MMOARG "added a total of 144 billion steps to US physical activity," in contrast to other "health" apps.

The paper is published in the high-impact open-access Journal of Medical Internet Research for those who want to read it in full without paywall. The authors do note that their sample is not random, as the Band is an expensive device, and most users were male. They also note that the study cannot comment on the long-term effects of physical activity.

In other PoGo news, the long-planned Chinese launch has been stymied by the government censor board's refusal to license it until it has properly evaluated the game's risks, such as what it's calling a "threat to geographical information security and the threat to transport and the personal safety of consumers."

This isn't the first time a foreign government has blockaded the game. You'll recall that last summer, members of the Russian government suggested that Pokemon Go was a video-collection spy tool for the CIA partly funded by intelligence services, which is way more awesome than the reality that it's just Niantic bumbling along. "It feels like the devil arrived through [Pokemon] and is trying to tear our morality apart from the inside," declared one member of parliament at the time.

Both countries -- the government itself, in the case of Russia -- are also developing their own ARG games, which we're sure is a total coincidence.

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16 comments
BryanCo
BryanCo

The Russian Government is developing its own ARG?  "Where in the world is Hillary Clinton?"

Neo_Wolf
Neo_Wolf

Well to be fair Pokemon Go also created a crime wave across the globe.. so yeah, people are more active but not all of them in a healthy or socially condusive manner lol

enamelizer
enamelizer

Google Maps is also blocked by the great firewall, so I assume it is an extension of that more than anything Pokemon specific.


As someone who is delighted by absurdity, I love the notion that Pokemon was created by the devil to corrupt youth, and that it has persisted so long. Not quite as good as my favorite conspiracy theory of 2016, that Barbra Bush is only 4 feet tall, a fact that has been suppressed by a decades long coverup by the Bush family.

Qarran
Qarran

China.  Yeah, as a person who frequents the country I have to say... it is all about the benjamins.  Oh yes, I'm jaded, but they have almost everything we have here in NA  as long as the government gets their share and some measure of control.


If Niantic wants Pokemon Go in China, they have to simply pay the government their due, which may be be unreasonable mind you and they have to allow some measure of oversight.

ManastuUtakata
ManastuUtakata

"You'll recall that last summer, members of the Russian government suggested that Pokemon Go was a video-collection spy tool for the CIA partly funded by intelligence services, which is way more awesome than the reality that it's just Niantic bumbling along."

...it's not like Pokémon Go was influencing their elections. >.>

Qarran
Qarran

@ManastuUtakata LOL!  You have to love Russia.  It's not like they would do such a thing... err.. right?

breetoplay
breetoplay moderator

@Qarran @ManastuUtakata My favorite part of that whole ordeal was when Russia was like, "Demonspawn! This game is just a front for the CIA's intelligence gathering! .... We should totally make one for ourselves."

<3

Qarran
Qarran

@ManastuUtakata Oh, and you should check out the Revelation Online article today.  You are going to love the clip!

Qarran
Qarran

@breetoplay @Qarran @ManastuUtakata "It feels like the devil arrived through [Pokemon] and is trying to tear our morality apart from the inside,"


Like the Russians did to our election?

melissaheather
melissaheather

@Qarran @breetoplay @ManastuUtakata You will recall that Angry Birds was actually NSA spyware at least according to Snowden (and it seems accepted fact).  Who's to say ANY of these apps aren't intelligence-gathering tools? Did you ever suspect Angry Birds was an NSA spy tool?  I sure didn't.

MetaDune
MetaDune

China really need to take a chill pill sometimes

kgptzac
kgptzac

@MetaDune They are quite chill.  Too chill in fact, since saying no to new things doesn't require much action than inaction.

melissaheather
melissaheather

These are going to be benefits of VR gaming rigs also. You'll actively do things.    Shorter, more intense game sessions.