Video games and, more recently, mobile games get blamed for contributing to many societal problems, ranging from teenage obesity to gun violence, but there's at least one instance in which a game was the direct cause of something good. In 2016, the Pokemon Go craze swept the world, prompting millions of players to grab their mobile devices and go searching for virtual creatures in the real world. Besides being a huge hit, the game got people moving-- in a big way. According to a Microsoft research team, Americans took 144 billion additional steps during a month of playing "Pokemon Go" than they had a month earlier. On average, players boosted their activity levels by 25 percent, adding nearly 1,500 steps to their daily routines. A particularly promising aspect of the increase was that it happened across all demographics. People of all ages took part, even those who were typically less inclined to take part in physical activities.
Get playing, get moving:
- Surgeons who play video games on a regular basis have been found to make 37 percent fewer errors than their peers.
- Incorporating exercise into a video game started in 1988 with the release of Nintendo's Power Pad and the game World Class Track Meet.
- A German study found that playing video games increases brain size and boosts memory and fine motor skills.