In less than a month, Pokémon Go has captivated the world, blurring the line between the real and the virtual. The augmented reality app is designed to get people on their feet, explore their city or town and capture Pokémon on their smartphones. PokéStops are scattered around the city, where players can collect Poké Balls, and connect with other players to discover where other Pokémon are hidden, levelling up as they do so.

Love it or hate it, that app actually might be doing a lot of good. And at Inspired Adventures, we love doing good!

Here are some of the ways this humble app has made a positive change in the world.

It has lead to the rescue of abandoned animals

From hamsters to injured dogs, players have found and rescued a number of animals on their quest to catch Pokémon. Sara Perez and Matthew Teague discovered an abandoned cage full of hamsters and mice and took them home to nurse back to health. A few of the hamsters have been adopted so far, with the rest to find homes soon. Another woman also discovered an injured puppy during her Pokémon search. The puppy appeared to have been abandoned, and was taken to the vet for treatment. He is expected to make a full recovery.

It has given new homes to shelter dogs

A dog shelter in the US state of New Mexico has invited players to bring along a canine companion with them while on the hunt for Pokémon. Organiser Haley Bowers said, “A lot of people that like Pokémon like animals, so I figured it would be a pretty good program to combine both the dogs and Pokémon”. The shelter has already experienced a spike in the number of adoptions as a result of this initiative. At least 10 people have filed to adopt, but anyone is welcome to stop by just to take the dogs along for a walk!

It’s helping people find love

You can catch Pokémon, and as it turns out the eye of other players as well.

A couple in Canada have met through the game and have been inseparable since. “I’ve tried Plenty of Fish, I’ve tried Tinder, OKCupid nothing no luck whatsoever and then right away with Pokemon Go I met someone,” said 26-year-old Patrick Toutain. He met Chelsea Lemire on a chat board for Pokémon Go.

“A lot of us grew up with it so to meet somebody else that kind of had the same childhood growing up with it you instantly connect,” said Lemire. “You have to get out of the house to play so you don’t have a choice but to talk to people,” she added.

We’re sure there are plenty more couples who have met through Pokémon Go!

It gets people moving

Perhaps most obviously, Pokémon Go is getting people outside, as the aim is to find Pokémon in your neighbourhood. It is one of the reasons that the app was created in the first place. More people are spending time walking outside, and step counts have almost doubled in the time that Pokémon Go has existed. It has given people the motivation to get up and stay active, for hours at a time.

It is improving the lives of those suffering from anxiety and depression

People who suffer with social disorders, anxiety and depression have found solace in the game, which encourages players to connect with others. Jack Kilbourn, from the UK has battled with depression and anxiety for years. He now spends his time walking around the city in search of Pokémon, connecting with other players who share his enthusiasm for the game. “I’m getting more confidence… Pokémon is encouraging me to get out of the house again and speak to other people – I would never have done that before. I’m starting to feel better again,” he says. And he’s not the only one; hundreds of Twitter users claim that the app has helped them make new friends despite suffering with social anxiety.

It’s sharing knowledge

Pokémon Go encourages players to explore and observe the world around them. It’s a great way for kids to learn how to use maps, and if you’re not aware of the geography of your area, the game helps with that too.

Many businesses are also jumping on the Pokémon bandwagon to varying levels of success. One zookeeper at Birmingham Zoo noticed that many people were visiting the zoo to catch Pokémon, so she decided to make the exhibits more Pokémon-friendly:

Source: Zookeeper problems

Feeling inspired?

Do you feel like doing good? Check out our 2017 calendar!