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Why Pokémon Go is so addictive

If you’re already a heavy gamer you probably know a little something or two about how games can be seriously addicting. But it’s not just experienced gamers who are picking up and getting addicted to Pokemon Go. Everyone is doing it. So why is Pokemon Go in particular so much more addicting than your average app?image002
Nostalgia
Many Pokemon Go players are picking up the game because they used to love watching the show, collecting the cards and merch as children. Nostalgia is a powerful way to get people to pick up something new but that’s also somewhat familiar. It’s easier to get into something you already know, especially one that brings you happy memories of being a kid.

In a recent article for Time Magazine, Dr. Clay Routledge, a professor of psychology at North Dakota State University who has studied the psychological effects of nostalgia for 10 years stated “It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this Pokemon Go phenomenon was making people make new friends because they have these shared memories.” So not only is nostalgia effecting you to play but it’s widespread appeal which could be helping you to actually make real life connections outside the app.

You’ve GottaCatch ‘em all!
Another reason we’re all so addicted to Pokemon Go is because humans just love collecting things. Russell Belk, professor of marketing at York University in Toronto,told Forbes: “There’s several general motivations – one is that it’s a challenge. But it’s a challenge within a smaller world than generally succeeding in the world of business or a career, and so there’s a greater chance of success.”

“I expect no matter how beautiful or ugly the Pokemon is, there’s relatively little aesthetic judgement. You want them all – or as many as possible.”

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It’s Family Friendly
Not only is PokemonGo helping players to find new friends, it’s also a family friendly game. Anyone can play it. While it’s more of a childlike game, I couldn’t tell you who exactly it’s target audience is. In fact, I very much suspect that it’s target audience is everyone. Not a simple feat for an app. The fact that the game can be played by parents and children alike, is I assume a huge part of its appeal. I know many people that play it with their kids and chauffeur players around to catch pokemon.

This is the same reason many Disney movies are so popular, because they’re child friendly but Disney will usually throw in a few references and jokes that only the adults will get so it’s fun for everyone and parents actually encourage their kids.

It Gets You Out
Whether you use Pokemon Go as an excuse for exercise, to walk the dog or to just get out of the house, you’ve got to admit, no other game does this quite as well as Pokemon. In fact, most other games don’t do this at all. It’s another reason why parents will encourage play by their children above other games and will happily tag along. Just yesterday at the dog park I saw many Pokemon Go players, walking their dogs or getting out without a dog and going for a run to catch them all. If anything encourages you to get out of the house, explore your surroundings and either exercise yourself, or your dog, it’s a good thing.

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