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Pokémon Go could help people who have social issues (Part 1)

That’s the key finding of a psychology study which is the first to research the impact of players’ personalities, social competence and anxiety when playing the trendy mobile game.

As Pokémon Go requires players to go out and interact with others, the research found that people with strong social skills have the tendency to be more successful. This conflicts with the prevailing stereotype that gamers are socially inability. Rather, we find that modern video games, such as those with augmented reality, have improved social aspects and require players to develop good social competence to have good results.
Among 100 Pokémon Go players who took part in the study about their personality, social anxiety and competence, gamers played the game for 30 minutes under observation. Through their performance in the game, the results suggest that extroverted players caught more Pokémon, went to more PokéStops and went longer distances than players who are socially introverted.

Players who are socially anxious unlikely to engage in the game because of fearing others will judge them. They don’t feel comfortable to play as others watching and are unlikely to collaborate with other players, like sharing locations of nearby Pokémon or sharing tips.”

The researchers are researching ways for modern video games to be developed in a way that assist people who struggle socially. For example, video games could be developed in a way in which social features become increasingly important as the game progresses. For Instance, in the beginning, players only require to communicate with a person through written method, but as the game moves up a higher level, they are required to make physically contact with other players to collaborate and win. The game will create a context in which communication with others might be easier than walking up to a stranger and striking up a conversation from the beginning.