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  • 07.14.16

No, the research on Pokémon Go’s mental health benefits is “anything but clear”

Pokémon Go has a lot of fans, who rave about the joy of playing the game on social media. But that does not mean, as Engadget argues, that it is having a clear impact on people with depression or anxiety. 

As Harvard-trained psychiatrist Arshya Vahabzadeh told me, plenty of people with severe mental illness are not on social media, “or are too incapacitated to be part of this conversation.” And that includes many of his patients. 

Moreover, while the body of research does find evidence of the mental health benefits of outdoor activity, plenty of unanswered questions remain about Pokémon Go. Vahabzadeh asks, “Where are people going? Is it safe? Is it appropriate? What other tasks are they trying to do at the same time, like driving or running on a treadmill?” 

CF