PokéRelationships: Beyond Entertainment

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    There’s been a lot of hype in the media about how technology is invading every aspect of life ever since the release of Pokémon Go took the world by storm. But regardless of whether you love it or hate it, no one can deny that the super popular mobile app is bringing people closer together. Families that spent all their free time separately on their electronics are suddenly going to the park together, people who have lived in the same neighborhood their entire lives are suddenly discovering parts of town they didn’t know existed, and did we mention the health benefits?

    But for some people, Pokémon Go isn’t just a fun activity to do together; it’s a life changer.

    Families with children and family members on the Autism spectrum all across the United States have been reporting unbelievable changes in their family dynamic since they started playing Pokémon Go. Kids who never wanted to leave the house are now asking to go to the park. One man reported that his daughter, who could barely look him in the eye, actually talked to another child on a playground for near twenty minutes about the game when they went out together at her request. The reports are so widespread that CNN did a special report on the connection between the game and increased socialization with children on the Autism spectrum.

    It’s not just humans that are getting a miracle through the game. Take for example, this animal shelter that had the idea to “rent” out their dogs to players to help hatch their eggs. Pokémon Go fans could then walk around town for an hour at a time, hatching eggs and catching Pokémon, while also exercising the puppies who needed it. The idea was so popular that it exploded overnight and many of the shelter dogs found new homes with the trainers who walked them. For each and every one of those canines, Pokémon Go gave them a home.

    Finally, it seems someone has released what we all knew was coming: a dating site focused on Pokémon Go players. PokeDate is a matchmaking service based on other players that encourages you to go on a Pokémon catching/gym battling/egg hatching date with other singles in your area. They offer a free first date with a special code but every date after that is $20. Who says you can’t find love in Kanto?

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