By Lisa Nault
Over this past summer, a new app was released called Pokemon Go. The game allows it’s users to explore and catch wild Pokemon out in the real world.
The release of Pokemon Go has created a worldwide phenomenon. People everywhere are visiting parks more, checking out historical statues, and are just going outside for daily walks with their friends. At the beginning, there were people so excited for the game that they made reckless choices in order to catch Pokemon. All over the news there were stories about people walking into traffic, playing while driving, or trespassing on properties. Also making headlines at first were the articles about inappropriate use of the new game. For example, one major broadcast criticized Pokemon Go players for playing on the app while visiting the Holocaust Museum. It was disrespectful of those who had died during the Holocaust.
However, after the initial wave of negative broadcasts about Pokemon Go people are now observing the unexpected benefits of the app. Businesses are utilizing Pokemon Go to bring in more customers, in particular local shops. Libraries are planning events around Pokemon Go to spark an interest with the younger crowds. Animal shelters are creating dog walking programs where people can volunteer to walk a dog for an hour while they play.
Recently, when people have been playing Pokemon Go they simultaneously have charity apps open as well. One popular app called Charity Miles allows the users to pick an organization to donate to while they walk. Therefore, every mile that person walks can donate to groups like Habitat for Humanity, National Park Foundation, Special Olympics, or Back on My Feet. Large business sponsors like Johnson & Johnson are the ones who donate for every mile so the users just have to do the walking. Another common app used along with Pokemon Go is ResQwalk. Similar to Charity Miles, ResQwalk has sponsors that donate money for every mile the user walks however the funds go specifically to animal shelters. The user decides which local shelter they would like to donate to and then they are encouraged to take walks with their own pets.
It is truly amazing to see the impact Pokemon Go has made, despite the fact that it was only released 2 months ago. There were some consequences to the app that were unfortunate while others beneficial. As the game continues to evolve with new updates the public must learn to adapt alongside it. To those who play the game, definitely check out the charity apps. Pokemon Go has provided the public with a great opportunity to not only be a part of the fantasy world they grew up with but also give back to the world they live in.