The Effects Playing Pokémon GO has on Physical Activity -A Systematic Literature Review

Date
2020-01-07
Authors
Laato, Samuli
Hyrynsalmi, Sonja
Rauti, Sampsa
Sutinen, Erkki
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Abstract
It is rare for a game to become such a phenomenon that almost 300 scientific papers are published about it in a span of three years. However, that is the case with the location-based game Pokémon GO. The game has been praised as a solution to the global inactivity crisis, but also criticized, for example, for only increasing physical activity in the short term. In order to gather together the findings of previous studies, a systematic literature review was conducted. Initially, 277 scientific articles which contained the term “Pokémon GO” in the title or the abstract were discovered. After categorizing the articles and removing those which did not focus on the effects Pokémon GO has on physical activity, 20 empirical studies remained. A majority (60%) of the studies showed an increase in the number of daily steps taken, whereas 30% of studies reported only short term improvements which diminished soon after. The beneficial effects were found to manifest more strongly on physically inactive individuals and were linked to playing retention. Furthermore, the results revealed that (1) most data used in studies is from 2016, after which the game has drastically changed and (2) longitudinal studies spanning over the course of a year are missing.
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Health Behavior Change Support Systems, health, location-based games, physical activity, pokemon go, systematic literature review
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10 pages
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Proceedings of the 53rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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