Pokemon Go did what Michelle Obama could not in nearly 8 years

Yes, we downloaded Pokemon Go (or spelled correctly “Pok√©mon Go”) and let the kids have a go at it.

Pokemon Go

For those who don’t know what this latest craze is all about, here’s a blurb from its¬†Wikipedia page:

Pokémon Go (stylized as Pokémon GO) is a free-to-play location-based augmented realitymobile game, developed by Niantic and published by The Pokémon Company as part of the Pokémon franchise. It was released worldwide in July 2016 for iOS and Android devices.

The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon who appear throughout the real world. It makes use of GPS and the camera of compatible devices. Although the game is free-to-play, it supports in-app purchases of additional gameplay items. An optional companion Bluetooth wearable device, the Pokémon Go Plus, is planned for future release and will alert users when Pokémon are nearby. It can be viewed as an emerging massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) although the social elements are not directly internal in the game.[2]

The game received a mixed critical reception, and attracted negative attention due to reports of accidents and public nuisance associated with it. However, it was the most downloaded smartphone app in the United States in its first three days of release and was a boon to the stock value of Nintendo, which owns part of The Pokémon Company.

Apart from the negative reports of people wandering around, glued to their phones and exploring places on foot that they usually would never visit outside of the game, I propose to you that what¬†Pokemon Go did do is something that Michelle Obama was not able to accomplish in nearly 8 years: getting Americans and especially children and teenagers to get out more and get more¬†exercise. What’s actually funny too is that when I set out to write this article, I did not know that other blogs were writing the same thing… I found several other websites that have a similar headline after publishing this one… Here’s a sampling:

Pokemon GO got more American kids off the sofa in 4 days than Michelle Obama’s 7 years of haranguing

5 things we learned from ‘Pok√©mon Go’

Pokémon Go may be the greatest unintentional health fad ever

I won’t lie to you… the game can be slightly addicting. And we let the kids try it out on one of our phones (thankfully, they don’t have iPhones or Android and can’t play it!). They really enjoyed it since they’re already¬†big¬†Pok√©mon fans anyway. But it was kinda funny to what one of them walk to the store, phone in hand and playing¬†Pok√©mon Go, and sure enough, nearly walked into a sign post because he wasn’t looking where he was going.

Apart from being slightly dangerous if you’re not paying attention, Pok√©mon Go seems to be helping with getting us to be more active. And the game also seems to be bringing us more together as a family, having something to talk about and do that we’re all interested in.

Funny how stuff like that can work out like that sometimes!