The race to escape: Location-based escapism and physical activity as a motivator in the consumption of the AR game Pokémon Go
This research examines motives for engagement in Augmented Reality (AR) games. The research field examined in this study was Pokémon Go, due to the game’s rapid rise in popularity. The study is based on semi-structured interviews with 35 Pokémon Go players. The theoretical framework guiding this study is the uses and gratifications theory, which deals with media consumers’ uses of various media and content types to satisfy psychological and social needs (Ruggiero, 2000). Pokémon Go satisfies diverse player needs, and players’ main uses of the game are related to escapism, social interaction, and challenging others. The study revealed multiple motivations for playing Pokémon Go, which were consistent with previous research, and identified two additional motivations of Pokémon Go players, which are also applicable to AR use in general: increased physical activity and location-dependent escapism integrated into everyday activities outside the home. This consumption pattern is apparently part of the revolution of data accessibility online and on mobile phones, which also function as social means for satisfying needs for entertainment, escapism, and highly accessible information.
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