Feature Story

Pokemon Go leads trend of games to get you moving

by Stephanie Chan

Pokemon Go leads trend of games to get you moving

See how Pokemon Go and other apps are helping you reach your fitness goals.

It can be argued that the exercise-friendly video game trend started with activities like Dance Dance Revolution and Wii Fit—but Pokemon Go was truly the revolution that got players moving outside.

With the first day of Spring steadily approaching, gamers can once again head outside to meld gameplay with physical activity.

Pokemon Go hit the mainstream in July 2016—a mobile app created by Niantic that required gamers to actually walk to various locations to find and "catch" Pokemon. This lead players to head into town and to their local parks in search of more tiny animated monsters.

BGR reports that researchers from Duke Health found Pokemon Go players were twice as likely to reach their recommended 10,000 steps per day than they were before starting the game. This study also found the percentage of days that players reached this step goal jumped from 15.3% to 27.5% after the launch of Pokemon Go.

Time also writes that Pokemon Go is an alternative way of promoting exercise. Once thought of as isolating and confining, certain video games and mobile app games are actually encouraging players' movement. CBC News reports that parks and nature expert Chloe Dragon Smith advocates these games as the gateway to physical activity—not the enemy.

In conjunction with Pokemon Go, there are more games popping up that operate best when played outside. Ingress layers a game world on top of the real world using Google Maps. By walking around, players can find and capture balls of energy.

Runners can enjoy Zombies, Run!—the exercise app you can turn on while going for a jog. Audio and visuals in the app transform the jogger into a survivor from a post-apocalyptic world who is outrunning a group of zombies.

Take a stab at one of these games this season; whether capturing Pokemon or running from the undead, there are plenty of games and apps to accompany your exercise.