Houston: 'Exergames' such as Pokemon Go, that combine augmented reality technology, geocaching and other novel techniques, have potential personal and public health benefits, researchers claim.
Tom Baranowski from Baylor College of Medicine in the US identified many lessons that can be learned from the success of the popular Pokemon Go, in which players can log hours of walking as they physically chase the virtual Pokemon creatures based on video images displayed on their smart phones.
Baranowski encouraged researchers to conduct well-designed studies to assess the health effects of active video games (AVGs).
Game developers could then use this information to create new games that would be both fun to play and promote beneficial physical activity, he said.
"Pokemon Go stimulated substantial amounts of physical activity in many likely-otherwise sedentary game players without intending to," said Baranowski.
"We might call this stealth exergame programming, and we have a lot to learn about how to achieve this," he said. The research is published in the journal Games for Health.