Pokémon has been a franchise that’s been going for over 20 years, and with the launch of Pokémon Go it brought it back into the limelight, both for positive and negative reasons. I did a chapter on Pokémon Go for my ‘Dyspraxia and Gaming‘ page, but I have decided to move its content to a post to archive the information. The game has fizzled out of the public eye and is not as relevant as it was when it came out. It is still played and it still has benefits, some benefits have lost a certain edge however with certain updates, it has gained new ones.
There are countless games out there, each one having their own benefits to people. The thing with Pokémon Go is it has done wonders for a lot of people and rightly deserves a chapter on my blog.
What is Pokémon?:
Hold on, what is Pokémon Go?:
Pokémon GO is a mobile game based on the hit franchise created by the companies GameFreak and Nintendo. The game has a simple map interface (powered by GoogleMaps) and by walking around the character moves too. As you walk you may find Pokémon pop up for you to catch. You can use these Pokémon in battles against Gyms in hopes of taking over it for your team. There is so much to the game that I can’t cover it fully without it dominating this page, so if you would like to know more check out their site: Pokémon Go Home
How does Pokémon Go help the Dyspraxic Community?
I grew up with the original Pokémon games and with Pokémon Go’s release back in 2016 it was a great opportunity to visit some nostalgia, but with new opportunities and secrets. While I can talk a lot about Pokémon, if given an opportunity, I have to keep this on topic – which is Dyspraxia and related. There have been various posts and videos already on how Pokémon GO has helped the Autistic Community and with Dyspraxia sharing several traits with its cousin those benefits can help us too.
When it comes to social situations us, with Dyspraxia, can have trouble with it. Pokémon GO helps communication and bring people together. How? For starters with the Gyms and Raids, it brings together teamwork to help take it down. With a group of people with the same interest gather together in one spot it makes social interaction much easier. On top of that Pokémon Go became a massive topic and that made it easier to engage with people. Whether you had a strong opinion for or against the game, it makes for a conversation starter. A colleague I used to work with still plays Pokémon GO and many times an opening conversation was about new updates, new monsters, and what we were up to on the game. It also turned into a civil rivalry of who can outdo the other! Another instance was tracking a specific Pokémon called Onix sometime back on my return home from work. During my hunt I bumped into someone also looking for it – so I teamed up with a stranger to find it and catch it – which we did!
Motivation to go outside and explore:
It’s easy when you have anxiety towards the outside world to actually not go out at all. With this game it helps to motivate to go outside, finding nearby creatures and Gyms to take down, take over, or strengthen up. Also with on the onscreen map with waypoints (unless you live in the middle of nowhere), it’s easier to know where you’re going and can help train to plan a journey out. The game has helped several people who normally have meltdowns in the outside world cope better, so much so that it is actually received praise from parents of Autistic children. When you have parents praise a video game, you know you’ve done something unique, special, and absolutely amazing!
Having achievements, no matter how small, is a great boost to self-esteem. Whether it is catching a Pokémon, beating a Gym, hatching an egg, or evolving a Pokémon – little achievements and a sense of progression sure does help.
The world is full of anxiety triggers, strong light, loud noises, crowds, etc. with a game designed for out and about travels it helps distract away from those triggers. In general, it can help distract away from anxiety for a bit. I had a job interview once and I was nervous because I don’t like new places and people (weirdly the interview itself is fine) and to help distract away from that a quick go on Pokémon Go.
More positivity towards gaming and its benefits:
Gaming has received harsh criticism and backlash over the years. This is the thing, many of us have something that helps us cope with everyday life. Whether that is gaming, reading, walking, sport, etc. the big problem is that gaming receives so much negative stigma that it’s difficult to have it as a livelihood without it coming under fire. With Pokémon Go being a very positive game, people are now encouraging others to play it. Those who have difficulties can play games that help them without negative remarks thrown their way.
Pokémon battles are viewed as a complex Rock, Paper, Scissors match. Each Pokémon has a specific type or two, and each type has different strengths and weaknesses against another.
Currently, there are 18 different types which are; Normal, Water, Grass, Fire, Electric, Flying, Ground, Rock, Ice, Poison, Bug, Ghost, Fighting, Psychic, Dragon, Dark, Steel, and Fairy. As an example, Water-type attacks do more damage against Fire Pokémon and Fire-type attacks do less damage against Water Pokémon. There are charts that help learn the basic strengths and weaknesses.
The fighting mechanics in Pokémon Go is much simpler than that in the console versions. However, the similarity is by understanding what Pokémon you need and what strategy is needed for the best chance of winning is exactly how problem-solving works. It is good practice for when a real-life problem needs tackling. At the very least, confidence is gained in the knowledge that beating problems are a possibility
“A world of dreams and adventures with Pokémon awaits! Let’s go!”
What has your experience been with Pokémon and has it benefitted you in some way? Please feel free to drop a comment below! Apart from that, thanks for reading.