Gotta catch ‘em all: Exploring the use of Pokémon Go to enhance cognition and affect.
There has been a rapid development in mixed reality technologies that integrate virtual reality and real-world perception and cognition, commonly known as augmented reality. One of the most popular augmented reality exergames is Pokémon Go, which in 2019 had more than 147 million users. Although there is a growing body of research on the benefits of exergames in improving attention, visual-spatial skills, and affect, there are very few studies looking directly at Pokémon Go in this context. In the present study, we explored whether participants from a North Florida university who played Pokémon Go outdoors yielded improvements in working memory, attention, affect, and empathy compared with those who only walked outdoors. The findings indicated that verbal, but not visuospatial, working memory improved after participants played Pokémon Go in a natural environment. These working memory improvements were not evidenced when the participants walked in the same natural setting. Second, the number of false-positive responses (an impulsivity response) were also reduced after playing Pokémon Go in a natural environment. There was also a decrease in negative affect after participants played Pokémon Go but not in the control condition. The implications of these findings are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved) Public Policy Relevance Statement: As Pokémon Go remains a popular exergame, an experimental design illustrated improvements in working memory, attention, and affect. These possible benefits of Pokémon Go may prove useful for practitioners and lay people alike, as Pokémon Go is a readily accessible and cost-effective tool. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)
Psychology of Popular Media
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Alloway, T. P., & Carpenter, R. (2021). Gotta catch ‘em all: Exploring the use of Pokémon Go to enhance cognition and affect. Psychology of Popular Media, 10(2), 178–186. https://doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000283