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Pokémon Go is a Game, Not a Videogame – And Why That Difference Matters (A Lot)

“Stop playing videogames and go outside.” Did your parents ever say that to you? Or perhaps, as a parent, did you find yourself saying it to your kids?

Augmented reality presents an unprecedented opportunity to gamify the real world. Which means that even when a “game” is on a video screen, such as an iPhone, it doesn’t have to be a videogame. It can simply be a game, in the way hide-and-seek and tag are games—there are rules, and they’re fun, but they also engage players with other players and encourage them to interact with their real surroundings.

This is a huge shift. But it’s not a coincidence.

John Hanke, the CEO of Niantic, which developed Go for Nintendo, says that exercise, exploring, and socializing were three fundamental considerations when designing the game.

“The game itself is intended to facilitate the real-life stuff,” Hanke told Business Insider.

It’s a unique gaming model that leverages powerful technology to create a game the world needed—a game that breaks the mold of burying your head into your screen and disconnecting from the people and things around you. You might not love Pokémon, but you have to love that idea.

Pokémon Go Surpasses Tinder Downloads, Adds $7.5 Billion to Nintendo’s Market Value

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