Is Pokémon Go Good For Science?

Pokemon Go
Source: Kotaku

Undoubtedly, millions of players in the world are thoroughly excited about the release of Nintendo’s Pokemon Go. In just a week, the new game has encouraged many players to go outside and get some sunshine and exercise.  In the past weekend, many people who prefer the indoors have ventured outside to explore their natural surroundings. While millions of users have explored the outdoors for made-up creatures, many players also found real creatures along the way.

Players of Pokemon Go, who come across real creatures during their journey to catch ’em all can check out the #PokeBlitz hashtag, which was created by Jackson. Scientists are using this hashtag to help players identify wildlife in photos. Similar to a bio blitz event, where citizens work together to find and identify as many species of animals as possible in a particular area.

The appeal of Pokemon Go to biologists is understandable. This is especially true when one considers that most Pokemon is simply exaggerations of scientific theories and real-life animals. Even Pikachu was likely inspired by the pika, which is a cute mammal. A type of vulpine inspires Eevee, and the moves of Charmander reflect the age-old misconception that salamanders are immune to fire. The concept of evolution in Pokemon is similar to metamorphosis.

While some people skeptical about the ability of a mobile app to help make scientific advancements, it is undeniable that Pokemon Go has encouraged many indoor-dwellers to get a breath of fresh air, at least for now.

Click "Next" to continue