Active apps like Pokémon Go need to be supported by Government.

Today I called for Government support for active apps like Pokémon Go, which combine games with fitness.

The video game Pokémon Go is currently sweeping the mobile gaming market in the US. I’m happy to see that in contrast to most video games which encourage a sedentary lifestyle, this one is actually inspiring teens to get out of the house and walk.

Apparently this has already had a positive effect on gamer’s health and fitness.

It may be the novelty factor, but Pokémon Go seems to be motivating people to exercise, even those who haven’t been active for some time. There are cases reported in the US of previously inactive people getting out and about and walking for miles, to try to increase their Pokémon stash.

Of course there is the concern of some young people not paying enough attention to their surroundings whilst walking around the streets, but I believe safety measures to remedy this could be implemented.

For some time now I have been campaigning for Irish people to be more active and watch what they eat. According to the World Health Organisation, Ireland is on course to become one of the fattest nations by 2030. We should be doing everything we can to remedy this. Games which encourage people to be active can help.

I believe we should be actively encouraging gaming companies to combine games with fitness apps and I’m asking the Minister for Finance to consider incentives for gaming companies to develop apps that encourage activity.

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