The popular mobile game Pokémon GO has made countless headlines since its release. From impressive ones such as "Breaking Apple's App Store First Week Download Record" to gloomy ones like "Teens Use Game to Lure Robbery Victims", Pokémon Go has generated an enormous amount of news. Through it all, little attention has been given to the positive player experiences surrounding the game.
Here are six heartwarming Pokémon GO stories that could rival Disney movie endings.
1. A Game That Brings Families Closer
Reddit user ErickWTF shared a story with the Pokémon Go community about how his mothe's dedication to her children can even be experienced through a smart phone app. Not only did she walk ten kilometers to hatch an Electabuzz for her disabled son, but ErickWTF adds "she also drove us around town to various Pokéstops".
2. A Game That Aids Autism
Autism is a mental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact with others. Various autistic children have taken an affinity to Niantic and Nintendo's latest phone app. This interest has led to multiple stories of increased socialization and communication with those close to them (caregivers and family) and even strangers. One mother wrote that seeing the excitement in her autistic son towards simply leaving the house was enough to bring her happiness.
3. A Game That Raises Hospitalized Children's Morale
At C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Michigan, Pokémon GO has created an atmosphere for light exercise and friendly gatherings. Young patients are often deterred from leaving their rooms and taking a stroll through the corridors because of the difficulties and the exhaustion they encounter. Jennifer Griggs, the mother of an eleven-year-old who receives treatment for an inoperable brain tumor at Mott Children's hospital says, "We started just trying to get him out of the room to do something active because it gets a little depressing while you are in the hospital for a lengthy stay." Now that the game has been introduced to the children, patients are venturing out of their beds and meeting up to play the game together.
4. A Game That Helps Dogs In Need Of A Home
An animal shelter in Indiana has asked Pokémon GO users to consider walking one of their adoptable dogs while on their quest to catch them all. Since the publication of their ad on Facebook, over 250 volunteers stopped by to request a walking companion. Additionally, four dogs were adopted after one of those walks!
5. A Game That Changes Lives
People who are experiencing bouts of depression (minor to major) and anxiety have shared stories about how the mobile game has given them a small push towards a brighter future. One user who is a veteran thanked Nintendo for helping him cope with his post traumatic stress disorder. Reddit user Rayn9 even said, "I have been having really bad anxiety attacks in public lately and avoid people like the plague, but today I went to the park and chatted up with some fellow trainers. It was not a long conversation, but enough to make me feel like I took some positive steps away from this ugly phase."
6. A Game That Promotes Positive Community
Reddit user Demonologies shared a story of one of his interactions with two brothers who were learning to play Pokémon GO. After teaching the boys about gym battles, the youngest eagerly told Demonologies he wishes to be a gym owner some day. Demonologies proceeded to defeat a gym, set a lower combat power Pokémon as a place holder and told the boys to give the gym a try. As he watched the two excited brothers celebrate their victory, Demonologies recounted his own reaction to the first gym badge he acquired as a kid and urged others to share or even create a Pokémon GO moment of happiness with others in the community.