"Pokemon Go" mania has hit academia.
Playing the popular augmented reality game can now help you earn credits, thanks to a new P.E. course at the University of Idaho that will incorporate "Pokemon Go" in class.
The university’s Pop Culture Game course, which will be introduced this fall, will feature smartphone games, both for fitness freaks and gaming enthusiasts. The course purports to “teach students about leading active lifestyles, building teamwork and exploring their communities through games like the megahit smartphone app 'Pokemon Go' and the live-action game 'Humans vs. Zombies.'”
Steven Bird, the course instructor, stated the class was in development phase for some time, but he realized it needed "Pokemon Go" to gain massive popularity.
“I want it to be more than people going, ‘I’m going to go catch a Pikachu.’ This app does more than let you shoot a Pokeball,” Bird said in a news release. “You get to adventure around, seeing different things, being active, seeing the sun. It allows you to move in large groups and a team.
"Pokemon Go" has received praised for encouraging a healthier lifestyle through outdoor walking in an age where people are generally becoming couch potatoes. Trainers have also boasted about how playing the game has helped them lose weight in an enjoyable way. For people who have always avoided exercise, the phenomenal app has given them a reason to go outside.
Philip Scruggs, the chairman of the Department of Movement Sciences, hopes the course will show students walking can be a fun, joint activity.
“It’s a great way to engage youth through adults, and a great way to engage families in active games together,” said Scruggs. “Our interest is to turn folks onto an active lifestyle, and that can be achieved in endless ways.”
In addition to running after Pokemon, students will also help organize the "Human vs. Zombie" club’s annual competition, which will feature games like tag and hide-and-seek for a huge multiplayer event lasting several days.