The Benefits of Playing Pokemon Go Outweigh the Risks

I was not into Pokemon Go when it first launched. It wasn’t until my mom began playing that I took interest. For a few reasons, first, when the game first came out, there were numerous game crippling bugs which made it almost impossible to play. It’s also a rather difficult game to learn at first, it gives absolutely no guidance, direction, tutorial, etc. This combined with the bugs in early days made the game frustrating and a lot less fun than it is now.

Second, I’m not one to enjoy exercise. It’s not that I’m “Lazy”, but well… exercise is “painful” and “tiring” and “annoying”.  When I started playing Pokemon Go, I thought how annoying or stupid it was to have to go outside. This was when I was playing it alone in the first few days of the launch. This began to change when I found someone (my mom) to play the game with. It’s much like the thought of having an exercise buddy.

When I was in college (10 years ago now, wow.) I went to the same school as my best friend. We’d spend our breaks swimming, playing badminton, and even (cringe) running laps. I was also doing atkins diet at the same time, and I ended up going from 200+ lbs to 127 lbs and a size 6/7 in jeans. After college, and my best friend moving to the other side of the state, now a 5 to 6 hour drive away, and going back off the atkins diet, I gained all of that weight back slowly over the years, due to lack of motivation to get out there and exercise.

I did have an xbox 360 with Kinect, and a Wii with some games which tried to add gamification elements the work out experience. I’d play them for a time, but always ultimately get bored and go back to other less “demanding” and more “rewarding” games. I will say out of the “work out” games I own, my favorite has always been “Walk It Out”, a very obscure Wii game that blasts 90s/2k pop music as you walk around a rather empty world at first; and as you walk you unlock new songs as well as begin to see the world come to life. I also enjoy DDR (although I suck at it really badly.) and Just Dance (slightly less challenging than DDR). I even had Wii Fit, and I did love the charting/tracking aspects of that game and even being able to weigh my cats lol.

But ultimately, none of those games held my interest. Was it because I didn’t have anyone to play them with? Perhaps. Was it because I still wasn’t “getting out”? I was still “at home playing videogames” something I’ve done for almost 30 years of my life.

It’s still too soon to tell how long it will be before I get “bored” with Pokemon Go. But it has some elements that are so unique and different from the other work out games I own. When I try to describe Pokemon Go to people who don’t already play, I tell them “It’s basically geocaching with pokemon”. I’d never gone geocaching before but the idea of it had always appealed to me in theory. It encourages you to get out and explore some new and sometimes remote or far away locations and you’re rewarded with small treasures (usually coins) (but in this case, it’s pokemon instead of coins).

Pokemon Go is a social game. Recently, a new dating website opened up and had such overwhelming response that they had to shut down their servers temporarily. This dating service aims to connect Pokemon Go players in their area both for playing Pokemon Go, but also for finding true love (or friendship). I’m also single right now, I’m kinda taking a break at the moment, seeing a few people but nothing serious, and find I’ve kinda backed off a bit on the dating or seeking of a mate at the moment, but when I’m ready again, in a few weeks, or months, or whatever the case may be, I have a feeling I’ll be using this Poke Date service. You can check it out here: https://www.projectfixup.com/pokedates/  – There’s also another site here: https://t.co/7sOATzdApr and probably numerous meetup.com Pokemon Go groups as well (though there weren’t any close by in my area last time I checked.).

Even if you’re not using such a site to interact with the Pokemon Go community, chances are you’re going to run into other players out in the real world, whether it’s at poke stops, gyms, or just walking around your parks or college campus, etc trying to catch pokemon. If you’re like me, you’re probably a shy introvert, who avoids other people (remember that part about sitting at home playing videogames?). I still haven’t started a conversation with anyone while playing Pokemon Go, but I have had people come up and start conversation with me, and I find it’s easy to talk to people when you have a shared interest, common goal, hobby, passion, etc. Pokemon Go can make you more comfortable in social interactions, help to break the ice, and put you in the “right place, at the right time” to meet new friends or potential romantic partners.

Pokemon Go does just that, it makes you GO places. You might find new places nearby that you’ve never visited, or it may encourage you to take a road trip, day trip, weekend trip, etc to go discover new pokemon. While playing the game, you might stumble upon new restaurants, museums, nature trails, parks, or other exciting places. Travel is fun! And Pokemon Go gives you another excuse to get away, take a vacation, take the scenic route, relax, and reconnect with nature while exploring new places and trying new things.

Pokemon Go is fun, relaxing, and addicting. Ignoring the social, psychological, and health benefits of playing the game, the game is just plain fun. The obsession to “catch them all” and to find “rare” Pokemon is a huge draw that keeps you wanting to play more and more. Just imagine if Shiny Pokemon get introduced sometime in the future, or special limited time events with special exclusive Pokemon to catch. This obsession to keep playing, keep seeking out new places with new pokemon, and “catch them all” is what keeps you motivated and interested in the game and continues to reinforce the “good habits” (exercise, social interaction, etc) that come from playing the game each day.

Pokemon Go is free. Yes, there is a cash shop, but you definitely don’t need to spend any money to enjoy this app. You can just visit your closest pokestop, and sit there for an hour or two collecting the items you need. Once again this just encourages you to keep getting out there. It’s win/win.

Pokemon Go is good exercise. It’s even being used in nursing homes to help the elderly. Gamers are not known for a love of working out or healthy habits. I’m no exception. But Pokemon Go makes me want to exercise in order to play the game. I went from being sedentary, to now walking 5 to 7 miles almost every day. I couldn’t tell you the last time I walked even a mile, let alone 5+ miles. Almost daily. Two days ago we walked ten and a half miles which so far is the farthest/longest I’ve walked while playing Pokemon Go. Of course, I am hoping to lose weight. Who doesn’t want to be more fit and healthy right? But even if that never happens simply from walking a few extra miles, I’ll tell you, this exercise has already had several benefits. The main benefit it has had is curing me of my insomnia.

Pokemon Go will help you sleep better! If you’re not used to physical activity (like me), and going through a “hard time” where your mind is just turning non-stop most nights, Pokemon Go will make you fall asleep from the physical exertion and exhaustion that comes when you increase your activity levels. The last 2 weeks I’ve been sleeping like a charm, when most of June was spent in angst and anger and disappointment and hurt feelings, I no longer have TIME to think about that. Pokemon Go keeps me busy! Keeping busy keeps me happy!

Pokemon Go will improve your mood! Exercise creates endorphins which are scientifically proven to create feelings of happiness and euphoria. It also as I mentioned helps “clear” (or otherwise occupy at least) your mind which makes you forget about your worries and troubles. It gets you out into the sunlight and sunlight is also scientifically proven to boost your mood. It helps you connect “spiritually” with nature, or helps you connect “emotionally” to other people. It reminds you you’re not alone. Pokemon Go is a comforting experience for anyone dealing with loss, death, grief, heartbreak, or other traumas.

Yes, there have been some scary stories in the news recently about Pokemon Go, either from neglect and a lack of paying attention to one’s surroundings, such as walking into traffic, falling off a cliff, or criminals using Pokemon Go to identify Poke Stops and wait for passer by to mug/rape/attack/whatever. There are also cases of people playing Pokemon Go at inappropriate times such as while working or driving. – but these incidents are few and far between when compared to the millions of players who are benefiting in some way from playing this game.

Pokemon Go means different things for different people, but for me, it has given me that little boost of motivation that I need to be more active and get out in my community.

The Benefits of Playing Pokemon Go Outweigh the Risks was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

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8 Ways The Big Bang Theory Made Nerds Cool Again

Editor’s Note: Today’s Guestpost comes from Jeremy at http://www.stylinonline.com/ who shares how he believes the Big Bang Theory helped make nerds “cool again”.  If you’re a nerd too, check out Jeremy’s shop for awesome pop-culture tshirts and more.

Eight Ways The Big Bang Theory Made Nerds Cool Again

big bang theory

Eight Ways The Big Bang Theory Made Nerds Cool Again

 

 

Geeks have taken over prime time television with their own show, and have lovers of all things nerdy and scientific tuning in. Ever since the first series premiered in September 2007, The Big Bang Theory has captivated and entertained audiences with its clever yet wholesome comedy. Centered on the social lives and work of a young group of scientists, the show revolutionized the way we see comedy and made being a nerd cool again. So, hold on to your pocket protectors, because, as avid fans of the hit television series, we have a comprised a list of 8 ways The Big Bang Theory Made Nerds Cool Again.

 

  1. It Makes Science Relatable

 

Let’s be honest. Most people only paid attention to science when we were still making volcanoes out of baking soda and vinegar. Very few can honestly say they genuinely enjoy sitting through a two-hour lecture on the “The History of the Periodic Table.” The Big Bang Theory, however, offers the audience a far more compelling and entertaining view of science and the world around us. In the first episode of season seven, when Janine was dealing with infidelity, Raj compares her marital issues to that of penguins who in the wild also have “commitment issues.” Humorous and oddly relevant, we learn an interesting fact while still enjoying this awkward moment of small talk.

 

  1. It Shows Nerds Can Find Love Too

 

We all know the universal stereotypes that most nerds will become forty-year-old virgins or live alone with their action figures or comic book collection, but The Big Bang Theory helps smash that concept. The plot thickens when Leonard, the experimental physicist at Caltech, ends up falling for and eventually marrying the hot girl next door. Even Sheldon, the socially awkward king of all things scientific and nerdy lands himself a girlfriend while still living life as a full-blown geek.

 

  1. It Makes Having a Big Vocabulary Cool

 

Despite the down to earth style comedy of the show, the audience find themselves coming across new words and important scientific terminology daily. Who would have thought that a show can successfully use words like “render” and “catatonic” in a joke, and it is still funny?

 

“Raj: I don’t like bugs, okay? They freak me out.

 

Sheldon: Interesting. You’re afraid of insects and women. Ladybugs must render you catatonic.” (Episode: The Jiminy Conjecture)

 

  1. It Makes Graphic Tees Trendy

 

Although one would not typically look at a modern TV sitcom for fashion tips, The Big Bang Theory does a lot to influence today’s style. With millions of viewers watching at home, the wardrobe we find the cast appearing in mimics the very own fashion tastes of today’s population. Sheldon, who is almost always sporting a graphic tee, not only expresses who he is as a character through his clothing, but also serves as a prime role model for casual, carefree clothing trends.

 

Novelty tees and other apparel are a growing trend in today’s fashion industry that even the producers of the Big Bang Theory are hip to.

 

 

  1. We Learn the Truth About Robots

 

Whether you are a self-declared nerd or not, one cannot deny the fact the idea of robots is kind of cool. With a bucket load of apocalyptic-style robot movies out, we cannot help but wonder “what if.” Fortunately enough, thanks to The Big Bang Theory we learn that although mankind has the power to create robots, they do not have the power to make them truly human. We are taught that the brain uses quantum mechanics to create consciousness, and robots are unable to do so, and therefore we can thankfully put to rest the fear of a machine-induced apocalypse.

  1. It Shows Pretty Girls Can Be Nerds Too

The Big Bang Theory is breaking down gender roles, one episode at a time. We tend to picture the average computer nerd as a skinny, acne-prone young man, but, contrary to popular belief, no one is safe from catching a cold case of “the nerd.”

During the second season’s third episode, Penny is introduced to the world of internet gaming and transforms into a full-blown, video game addict. She becomes consumed by online gaming, neglecting her job, hygiene, and health completely, submerging herself in the world of a computer geek. Eventually she finds release when she sees the errors of her ways, but, for a while, she was a complete nerd,  reinforcing the idea that such roles are not solely limited to men.

  1. It Makes Fantasy Obsessions Cool

Let’s face it. Part of what goes into being a nerd besides extreme wit and high academic performance is the innate obsession with fantasy. The Big Bang Theory does an excellent job of making comic books and fantasy seem cool. So much so, that a lot of the action takes place at the local comic book store. Sheldon himself prides himself on his own personal collection of comic novelties and action figures.

Even during the first season’s sixth episode, when the authors showed off their Halloween outfits, we find the group of friends dressed as Frodo from Lord of the Rings, Robin Hood, Thor, and even The Doppler Effect, making eccentricity less bizarre and more expected when it comes to this group of nerds.

  1. It Makes Great Accomplishments Seem Normal

Usually a trip to outer space would seem like an opportunity of a lifetime and, in most cases, it is. During one episode of The Big Bang Theory, however, Howard returns home from space and, instead of being greeted with love and admiration, most of his peers are too busy dealing with things going on in their own lives. Because every character is used to dealing with each other’s greatness, what the audience may view as a major accomplishment is to the characters just another part of ordinary life.

In the end, The Big Bang Theory is more than just your average television sitcom. Its  unique and intelligent humor sets it apart from any other comedy in its category, and brings its characters to life with its brilliant yet comedic dialogue and composition. Not only does the hit TV series bring validation to all those nerdy enough to identify with the main characters, but also transforms the way we ultimately view the world and one another.

8 Ways The Big Bang Theory Made Nerds Cool Again was originally published on Geeky Sweetie