Could ‘Pokemon GO’ Become An Olympic Sport?

Could Pokemon GO Become An Olympic Sport?  Millions of exhilarated parents from across the country are intoxicated with sheer delight over the fact, that their children have put down their bulk sized bags of Cheetos chips, and 90 ounce Super Gulps – and have picked up an actual outdoor physical activity.

Pokemon GO, is a cultural and societal phenomenon. Okay, it’s a world-wide phenomena. But let’s stay right here in the comforts of our own backyard –The U.S.

Daily Pokemon GO Users

While the official numbers are just estimates, the ballpark figures are from 9.1 millions users, according to, to CNET‘s projected 15 million daily users. Whatever the number is, you’ve seen them playing in your town.

22 % Of Children Between The Ages Of 13-17 Play Pokemon GO

According to a Forbes report, if Pokemon GO were to be a sport, it would be a sport dominated by women. 63 percent of the one million iOS and Android users surveyed are females. Only 37 percent are males. The average age is 25 years old.

Demographics are important when you are marketing who you are selling your product to. They also are important in determining what people are doing at what age.

Sure, this is a fad, and people go crazy at first with fads, but there has been a lot of concern from parents with activity among younger kids in traditional sports.

With social networking and video-gaming  replacing outdoor activity, this could be the beginning of a new sport. Because unlike Video-gaming, which I believe could turn into a sporting event, Pokemon GO is physically competitive and its creative, physical evolution is in the beginning phases and unlimited.  If you think I’m crazy, then explain Curling.(An Olympic Sport)

Wall Street Journal found that between the years 2002-2013, youths playing Baseball had declined by roughly 41 per cent. That’s a whopping amount of kids losing interest for America’s favorite past-time sport.

The only sport out of Soccer, Basketball, Baseball and Football, that saw an increase participating rate was tackle Football. If you are wondering about Hockey, well it was left off the list for a reason.

Cultural Shift. Will Pokemon GO Take The Lead?

83 to 84 percent of all teenager boys were have said to play video games on some form of device. Whether it be on a console, on a computer or on a phone. How much more these out of shape kids of ours can take walking around cities nationwide will be the marketing question for the creators of Pokemon GO. Either way, the numbers are in and its a huge success.

Is it good for society? Much like anything, experts will lend their voices to the pros and cons of the game.

Pokemon GO Cons

“Pokemon created an accident.”
“Pokemon GO said to responsible for kid finding dead body.”
“Parents abandon toddler so they could play Pokemon GO.”

Pokemon Go Pros

“Pokemon GO said to be good for people’s health.”
“Pokemon GO creates more community interactivity.”

Obviously, where you have to walk around, and walking being good for you, Pokemon GO is good for people physically unlike Wii that amassed more injuries than it didn’t. A mother can now say: “Thanks to Pokemon GO, I now have two healthy sons!” That’s right, because your 300 pound, video game playing teen lost 150 pounds generating two for the price of one.  TBS has a show called  ELeague.  This show is a video gaming tournament that offers a cash pool. People compete against each other on teams just like any traditional sport.

Competitive video-gaming has an audience as well as players. What about these obscure Olympic sports that nobody knows exist?

Who’s Actually Playing and Watching These Sports?

Here’s a good question, and a point on my side of the argument. Let’s considers these sports. First, let’s see if you even know what they are and how to play. Second, with Video-gaming, and Pokemon GO being treated like a sport, considering the growth of either or, which is more likely to grow and to be watched by an audience.

Fencing or Pokemon GO?

Who really does this anymore other than privileged yuppies that go to Yale? I actually looked this sport up and it brought me to Home Depot. Again, this is not to say that I don’t appreciate history and historic sports, that’s beside the point, the point is what people want to do and see.

Badminton or Video-Gaming?

Nobody watches Badminton other than people who own camping lots. And let’s face it, this watered down version of Tennis will never be in the same arena as Tennis. And, since we have Tennis, what the hell is the point of having Badminton on the menu?

Archery or Pokemon GO?

Other than Ted Nugent, nobody is watching Archery. Nobody! Even though I have a ton of respect for those that do Archery, how are you going to sell a sport to America’s attention when they think the sport is called, “Bow and Arrow?”

Rowing or Video-Gaming?

I’d rather watch a dog show.

Handball or Pokemon GO?

This shouldn’t be an Olympic sport either. Yes, you are using your body athletically, but two people hitting a ball up against a wall is just two people hitting a ball up against a wall. Speaking of hitting, why isn’t dodgeball a sport?

Anyhow, Handball is great for school recess and law firm hot shots. But unless you are the Bernstein – Meyers – Jones – & Lehman Law Firm for Worker’s Compensation-nobody cares.

So with the growth of Pokemon GO around the globe, the proliferation of competitive video gaming amongst our youth and young adults, and the staggering declining numbers of kids participating in traditional sports other than tackle football, it should not surprise anyone (at least here in the United States), that leagues are developed, the competition televised, and scores of younger people participate, that the future sport could be Pokemon GO. And for the United States sake, let’s hope the world and the Olympic committee will go for it.

As I’ve noted, traditions die, as new traditions are created. If people aren’t playing some of these sports anymore, and if people are treating video-games and games like Pokemon GO as a sport, then there is no reason not to believe why the next Olympic Sport could be played through an electronic device.




Derek Wood is a cultural and political critic and writer for Distract. Media. If you have any local stories and tips that you would like to be featured, reach him on Twitter @DerekSWood1 or send him a message on his Facebook account.

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