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Saturday, 16 July 2016

The psychology of 'Pokémon Go': What's fueling the obsession?

Comment: Further means for putting the more stupid members of our population into a deeper sleep...


Stephanie Pappas
Live Science

Perhaps you've seen them: roving bands of (mostly) young people, gathering together with smartphones aloft, talking about something called Rattata or Squirtle.

If not, you've probably at least seen the headlines about these folks — players of the massively popular new game "Pokémon Go." The game, which uses geolocation to place virtual Pokémon characters in the real world, has breathed sudden new life into the 20-year-old Pokémon franchise, with some estimates suggesting that the game has been downloaded more than 7 million times in the U.S. since its release on July 6.

Part of its success owes to its deft mixing of the real world and the virtual world. "Pokémon Go" blends a game experience with real physical activity and real, in-person socialization, said Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center in Newport Beach, California.

Ultimately, the features that come together in Pokémon Go appeal to real human desires, such as a need for social connection. "It's really ticking the boxes of the major drivers of human behavior," Rutledge said.  

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