Outdoor Play Mediated through Pokémon: Facing the Snorlax

Wragg, Jason orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1984-142X and Whall, Richard (2024) Outdoor Play Mediated through Pokémon: Facing the Snorlax. In: Routledge Handbook of Mobile Technology, Social Media and the Outdoors. Routledge. ISBN 9781032434766 (In Press)

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Playing outdoors in local environments provides the affordance to experience freedom, exploring surroundings, challenging sensorimotor capabilities, and building personal and social skills with others. However, our growing reliance on technology can lead to an increase in sedentary behaviours, whilst the time young people play outdoors continues to decline. This decrease in time spent in outdoor play combined with the marked increase in daily sedentary activities are contributing to several negative physical and mental health issues among children. In 2016, Pokémon Go became the most popular game in the history of smartphone games and was among the first games to feature geo-located augmented reality (AR) elements. This chapter employs collaborative autoethnographic methods to explore how Pokémon Go meditates active engagement in the outdoors and facilitates opportunities for outdoor play that develops key hallmarks of outdoor education, namely, active movement, inter- and intra-personal skills and local environment awareness.

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