City Research Online

The Impacts of Covid-19 on Players of Pokemon GO

Dunham, J., Papangelis, K., Laato, S. , LaLone, N., Lee, J. H. & Saker, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-7414-2840 (2022). The Impacts of Covid-19 on Players of Pokemon GO. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 30(4), pp. 1-31. doi: 10.1145/3569896


Since its creation, the Location-Based Game (LBG), Pokémon GO, has been embraced by a community of fans across the world. Due to its recency, the impact of COVID-19 on the community of Pokémon GO players is underexplored. We address how COVID-19 has impacted the players of Pokémon GO by building upon existing work focusing on player gratifications and impacts in Pokémon GO. Through semi-structured interviews, we provide a snapshot of the state of LBG play during unprecedented times. These player interviews demonstrate (1) the importance of in-person socialization to LBG, (2) additional ways players use the game as a coping mechanism, and (3) how intentionality mediates player perceptions of people-place relationships. Furthermore, we explore how Niantic influenced these behaviors through changes to how players interact with points of interest and engage with elder game mechanics such as raiding.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Location-based Games, Pokémon GO, COVID-19, people-place, socialization
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
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