So Pokémon Go users walked an extra 150 billion steps since the app launched. That’s the good news according to Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington.
For the uninitiated, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality app where users capture and then evolve monsters based on how much they walk around. For all the fretting by parents afraid that their children would wander into traffic, it turns out to have been a really great thing!
Let’s say this as gingerly as we can: The kind of people trying to catch invisible monsters on their smartphones may not be the most social beings on earth. But by focusing the monsters in Pokégyms at public parks and spaces, the game’s creators gave users young and old a great excuse to talk to their neighbors.
This data is a little bit suspect, however. Microsoft collected this data from two sources: Bing, the search engine that no one uses and Microsoft Band, the fitness tracker that no one uses.
But still! The number of Pokémon Go users with Bands is 1,420 (out of 30,000). So it’s likely that this study is a conservative estimate.
The study found a 25 percent increase in activity was across the board among people of different ages, genders and weights: “We find that Pokémon Go leads to significant increases in physical activity over a period of 30 days, with particularly engaged users (i.e., those making multiple search queries for details about game usage).”
So before we hurt Microsoft’s pudgy, dumb feelings anymore, here are a few other cool Augmented Reality Game ideas you can use:
Go Out at Night!
From the makers of Tinder and alcohol, a new game where people leave the house in order to find someone to bone.
Wanna catch real monsters and increase your step count? Go to the gym and just stand on the treadmill while walking slowly. Get off every two minutes to block some musclehead bro on his angry way to the only empty weight bench.
Take increments of everyday purchases and save them up over time by making long-term bets on the inevitability of a rising stock market. Oh wait. That exists and I love it. Here’s a $5 coupon to get you started.
Pokémon Go Out and Vote!
It’s an instant IRL mute button for whichever candidate you think is a monster. Get out there and get all your friends to check their registration. What’s that? Oh, that joke got lame fast.