Must Catch some Z’s!
A new mobile app called Pokémon Sleep is under scrutiny after several behavioral addiction experts criticized the new video game for trying to cash in on insomniacs. reported Newsweek.
The app, which opened to the public in July, has already been released downloaded by millions of fans.
“In the world of Pokémon Sleep, Pokémon with the same sleep type as you gather while you catch some Zs,” reads the app’s official description. “So discover the different Sleep Styles Pokémon can have as you complete your Sleep Style Dex.”
Those using the app will automatically receive a Relaxo—a very large and sleepy Pokémon—and will be encouraged to “raise Relaxo big and strong” by sleeping and befriending other Pokémon, who in turn will feed Relaxo Berries .
The game reportedly tracks a user’s breathing patterns and movements via the smartphone’s microphone and accelerometer.
Once the player wakes up, they receive rewards based on sleep quality.
Several experts have expressed concern that the video game could have “unintended consequences” such as causing users to compete with each other.
“Will it help you sleep more? No, because all you do is lie on the pillow with a phone next to your head,” said Dr. David Chandross, faculty member at Toronto Metropolitan University. “I think Pokemon is trying to make money off of people who have insomnia. I don’t think they offer a real solution. It might be helpful. I distrust motivation.”
Chadross added that a better concept might be an app that sets “achievable small goals.”
“Going to bed a little bit earlier, chasing it, and then building a story, a narrative out of it, that’s soft, what we call a cozy play.” I think that’s a better approach than competing with others, to find out who can snooze the most,” he said.
Chandross added that he “believes in the general idea behind it [Pokémon Sleep] promises a lot, but I don’t think it will live up to much.”
Another expert claimed that any “gamifying” behavior should be discouraged.
“In my opinion, the game design of behaviors that lead to individuals not behaving well in the long run should not be encouraged,” said Dr. Mark Griffiths, Professor of Behavioral Addiction at Nottingham Trent University.
“Basically, there’s nothing wrong with trying to get people to sleep better, but this is an example of how there can be unintended consequences that the game’s developers didn’t fully think through.”
The post reached out to The Pokémon company for comment.
After to the game’s official websiteThe app is intended for “entertainment purposes only and not for the detection, diagnosis, or treatment of any medical condition or disease.”
Despite the warning, some users don’t believe the app is health-conscious.
“I’m not sure I like that we’re gamifying sleep now,” said an X (formerly Twitter) user. called.
“This is proof that we live in a simulation/matrix” explained other.
This isn’t the first Pokémon game to encourage healthy habits.
In 2020, the company released a game called Pokémon Smile aimed at younger children to get them brushing their teeth.