Advertisement

Information Technology & Tourism

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 515–533 | Cite as

Pokémon GO is serious leisure that increases the touristic engagement, physical activity and sense of happiness of players

  • Russell B. WilliamsEmail author
  • Natasa Slak-Valek
Original Research

Abstract

This study investigates Pokémon Go as a form of serious leisure including its impact on the touristic engagement, physical activity and sense of happiness of players. This location-aware augmented reality mobile game continues to be played by millions of people every day. Based on an online survey identifying 438 Pokémon GO players from 34 countries the present study examines if playing Pokémon GO sends people to locations, cities and countries beyond their normal sphere of activity and makes them feel happier and more successful. Descriptive statistics, factor analysis and regression were used to analyze data. Results show that playing the networked game on a mobile device increases visitation to local tourism attractions, and motivates people to spend more time outdoors and walking. It also sends them to cities and countries they might not otherwise visit and acts as an alternative to spending time indoors playing computer games. Surveyed players feel happier and more successful after playing the game. Pokémon GO might have value as the center of a tourism product for those players. The opportunity to acquire Pokémon and encounter others involved in the game across a destination, or in a single attraction, could pull players to that place. These are the attributes of people in pursuit of serious leisure.

Highlights

  • Pokémon GO players know more about local attractions than before playing.

  • Pokémon GO players visit more tourist attractions than before playing.

  • Pokémon GO players spend more time in outdoor physical activity than before playing.

  • Pokémon GO players who play more feel happier and more successful than those who play less.

  • Pokémon GO has the potential to attract people to destinations and places as they play the game.

Keywords

Pokémon GO Serious leisure Domestic tourism International tourism Happiness Location-aware mobile games 

Notes

References

  1. Allen JB (2003) Social motivation in youth sport. J Sport Exerc Psychol 25(4):551–567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Althoff T, White RW, Horvitz E (2016) Influence of Pokémon GO on physical activity: study and implications. J Med Internet Res 18(12):1.  https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.6759 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aluri A (2017) Mobile augmented reality (MAR) game as a travel guide: insights from Pokémon GO. J Hosp Tour Technol 8(1):55–72.  https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTT-12-2016-0087 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Amselle N (2016) Pokémon GO and what it means for parks. Parks Recreat 51(8):15–16Google Scholar
  5. Assunção C, Brown M, Workman R (2017) Pokémon is evolving! An investigation into the development of the Pokémon community and expectations for the future of the franchise. Press Start 4(1):17–35Google Scholar
  6. Benckendorff PJ, Pearce PL (2003) Australian tourist attractions: the links between organizational characteristics and planning. J Travel Res 42(1):24–35.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0047287503253948 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cao X, Mokhtarian PL, Handy SL (2007) Do changes in neighborhood characteristics lead to changes in travel behavior? A structural equations modeling approach. Transportation 34(5):535–556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chung N, Han H, Joun Y (2015) Tourists’ intention to visit a destination: the role of augmented reality (AR) application for a heritage site. Comput Hum Behav 50:588–599.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2015.02.068 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Colley A, Thebault-Spieker J, Lin AY, Degraen D, Fischman B, Häkkilä J, Kuehl K, Nisi V, Nunes NJ, Wenig N, Wenig D (2017) The geography of Pokémon GO: beneficial and problematic effects on places and movement. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems, Denver, May 06–11Google Scholar
  10. Domahidi E, Festl R, Quandt T (2014) To dwell among gamers: investigating the relationship between social online game use and gaming-related friendships. Comput Hum Behav 35:107–115.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.02.023 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Drescher E (2016) A virtual faith: looking at the world through Pokémon GO. America 215(10):22–25Google Scholar
  12. Kauffman G (2016) Pokémon GO players rediscovering their neighborhoods’ histories. Christ Sci MonitorGoogle Scholar
  13. Heazlewood I, Walsh J, Climstein M, Burke S, Adams K, DeBeliso M (2011) Sport psychological constructs related to participation in the 2009 World Masters Games. Int J Soc Behav Educ Econ Bus Ind Eng 5(5):717–719Google Scholar
  14. Hedley NR, Billinghurst M, Postner L, May R, Kato H (2002) Explorations in the use of augmented reality for geographic visualization. Presence Teleoper Virtual Environ 11(2):119–133.  https://doi.org/10.1162/1054746021470577 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Heo J, Stebbins RA, Kim J, Lee I (2012) Serious leisure, life satisfaction, and health of older adults. Leisure Sci 35(1):16–32.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01490400.2013.739871 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Howe KB, Suharlim C, Ueda P, Howe D, Kawachi I, Rimm EB (2016) Gotta catch’em all! Pokémon GO and physical activity among young adults: difference in differences study. BMJ 355:6270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Huang H, Humphreys BR (2012) Sports participation and happiness: evidence from US microdata. J Econ Psychol 33(4):776–793. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01674870 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Huiwen G, Hassink R, Maus G (2017) What does Pokémon GO teach us about geography? Geogr Helv 72(2):227–230.  https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-72-227-2017 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jaramillo GE, Quiroz JE, Cartagena CA, Vivares CA, Branch JW (2010) Mobile augmented reality applications in daily environments. Revista Eia 14:125–134Google Scholar
  20. Jung T, Chung N, Leue MC (2015) The determinants of recommendations to use augmented reality technologies: the case of a Korean theme park. Tour Manag 49:75–86.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2015.02.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kari T (2016) Pokémon GO 2016: exploring situational contexts of critical incidents in augmented reality. J Virtual Worlds Res 9(3):1–12.  https://doi.org/10.4101/jvwr.v9i3.7239 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Klenosky DB (2002) The pull of tourism destinations: a means-end investigation. J Travel Res 40(4):396–403.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0047287502040004005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kourouthanassis P, Boletsis C, Bardaki C, Chasanidou DD (2015) Tourists responses to mobile augmented reality travel guides: the role of emotions on adoption behavior. Pervasive Mob Comput 18:71–87.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmcj.2014.08.009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kuss DJ, Griffiths MD (2012) Internet gaming addiction: a systematic review of empirical research. Int J Mental Health Addict 10(2):278–296.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-011-9318-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. LeBlanc AG, Chaput JP (2017) Pokémon GO: a game changer for the physical inactivity crisis? Prev Med 101:235–237.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.11.012 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lu A, Shen S, Van De Bovenkamp R, Iosup A, Kuipers F, Epema D (2015) Socializing by gaming: revealing social relationships in multiplayer online games. ACM Trans Knowl Discov Data 10(2):1–29.  https://doi.org/10.1145/2736698 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Makkonen T, Hokkanen TJ (2013) ICT innovation and local economy: mobile game as a tourist attraction. Scand J Hosp Tour 13(3):257–268.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15022250.2013.772770 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McCall R, Braun A (2008) Experiences of evaluating presence in augmented realities. Psychnol J 6(2):157–172Google Scholar
  29. McCall R, Wetzel R, Löschner J, Braun A (2011) Using presence to evaluate an augmented reality location aware game. Pers Ubiquit Comput 15(1):25–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McIntosh E (2016) Pokémon GO is everything wonderful about tourism. Polygon. https://www.polygon.com/2016/7/19/12223556/pokemon-go-tourism-nintendo-niantic. Accessed 20 July 2017
  31. McKercher B, Mei WS, Tse TS (2006) Are short duration cultural festivals tourist attractions? J Sustain Tour 14(1):55–66.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09669580608668591 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mesároš P, Mandičák T, Hernandez MF, Sido C, Molokač M, Hvizdak L, Delina R (2016) Use of augmented reality and gamification techniques in tourism. E-Rev Tour Res 2(1/2):366–381Google Scholar
  33. Moularde J, Weaver A (2016) Serious about leisure, serious about destinations: mountain bikers and destination attractiveness. J Sport Tour 20(3–4):285–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nawijn J (2010) The holiday happiness curve: a preliminary investigation into mood during a holiday abroad. Int J Tour Res 12(3):281–290.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jtr.756 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nigg C, Joi Mateo D, Jiyoung A (2017) Pokémon GO may increase physical activity and decrease sedentary behaviors. Am J Public Health 107(1):37–38.  https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303532 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nunkoo R, Gursoy D (2012) Residents’ support for tourism: an identity perspective. Ann Tour Res 39(1):243–268.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2011.05.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Parker J (2016) When the world is an arcade. Atlantic 318(4):40–42Google Scholar
  38. Pokemongolive (2018) Pokémon GO Fest 2018. pokemongolive.com. https://pokemongolive.com/en/events/. Accessed 1 July 2018
  39. Robbins MB (2016) The future of gaming. Libr J 141(15):59Google Scholar
  40. Rogers R (2017) The motivational pull of video game feedback, rules, and social interaction: another self-determination theory approach. Comput Hum Behav 73:446–450.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.03.048 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Scott D (2012) Serious leisure and recreation specialization: an uneasy marriage. Leisure Sci 34(4):366–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Shen XS, Yarnal C (2010) Blowing open the serious leisure-casual leisure dichotomy: what's in there? Leisure Sci 32(2):162–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Slak Valek N (2018) The relationship between community sporting event participants and the media. The case of Abu Dhabi. J Sport Tour 22(3):187–205.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14775085.2018.1466348 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Smith C (2017) 80+ incredible Pokémon GO statistics and facts. DMR. http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/pokemon-go-statistics/. Accessed 24 July 2017
  45. Smith ER, Seger CR, Mackie DM (2007) Can emotions be truly group level? Evidence regarding four conceptual criteria. J Pers Soc Psychol 93(3):431–446.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.93.3.431 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Stebbins RA (1982) Serious leisure: a conceptual statement. Pac Sociol Rev 25(2):251–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stebbins RA (1992) Amateurs, professionals, and serious leisure. McGill-Queen’s Press, MontrealGoogle Scholar
  48. Stebbins RA (2001) Serious leisure. Society 38(4):53–57.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12115-001-1023-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Su Y, Chiang W, Lee J, Chang H (2016) The effect of flow experience on player loyalty in mobile game application. Comput Hum Behav 63:240–248.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.05.049 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Teye V, Sirakaya E, Sönmez SF (2002) Residents’ attitudes toward tourism development. Ann Tour Res 29(3):668–688.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0160-7383(01)00074-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Van Rooij AJ, Schoenmakers TM, Vermulst AA, Van Den Eijnden RJ, Van De Mheen D (2011) Online video game addiction: identification of addicted adolescent gamers. Addiction 106(1):205–212.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03104.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Vareiro LMDC, Remoaldo PC, Cadima Ribeiro JA (2013) Residents’ perceptions of tourism impacts in Guimarães (Portugal): a cluster analysis. Curr Issues Tour 16(6):535–551.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2012.707175 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wong FY (2017) Influence of Pokémon GO on physical activity levels of university players: a cross-sectional study. Int J Health Geogr 16:1–12.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12942-017-0080-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Xu F, Tian F, Buhalis D, Weber J, Zhang H (2016) Tourists as mobile gamers: gamification for tourism marketing. J Travel Tour Mark 33(8):1124–1142.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10548408.2015.1093999 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Yovcheva Z, Buhalis D, Gatzidis C, van Elzakker CM (2014) Empirical evaluation of smartphone augmented reality browsers in an urban tourism destination context. Int J Mob Human Comput Interact 6(2):10–31.  https://doi.org/10.4018/ijmhci.2014040102 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Yu-Lien C, Huei-Tse H, Chao-Yang P, Yao-Ting S, Kuo-En C (2015) Apply an augmented reality in a mobile guidance to increase sense of place for heritage places. J Educ Technol Soc 18(2):166–178Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Communication Media and ScienceZayed UniversityAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates

Personalised recommendations