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Hunting for Pokemon (and health)

By Greg Pishko
 
Remember the last time you tried to adopt a healthy habit? Regardless of the outcome, you likely wished that it was a more enjoyable experience.
 
Gamification is a concept that turns behavior change into a game. When applied to healthy activities, gamification immerses participants into an engaging world of competition and awards to facilitate the progress of health behavior--and makes the experience fun.
 
Pokemon GO is the latest, and ubiquitous, craze in gamification. So far, the game appears to be increasing user engagement with both walking and outdoor recreation. A recent Twitter post by @AniMiaOfficial illustrates this: "Pokemon hunting while taking a hike through Rock Creek Park." 
 
The game gets players outdoors and moving by blending gamification and the technology of augmented reality. Pokemon GO prompts players to find the geographic whereabouts of cartoon Pokemon creatures. A player augments their reality by using their smartphone display, which superimposes creatures for capture upon their immediate surroundings.
 
For some, these types of creative solutions are necessary to overcome the "chore" of outdoor recreation. As for the rest, it can make adopting a healthy habit a treat.
 
Are you using Pokemon GO while exploring Rock Creek Park, or can you think of other ways you're incorporating the concept of gamification into your life? Let us know on Twitter: @loverockcreek

 

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