Could “Pokémon Go” be bad for your health?

POKEMON GOAshland, Ore. —  The wildly popular Pokémon Go app is inspiring millions of Americans to get off the couch and get outdoors in search of Pikachu’s, Charmander’s and Squirtle’s galore. But could the new app be detrimental to your mental health?

Psychologists say while it’s been proven that excessive gaming has negative effects on the brain, this newer concept of pairing virtual reality with the real world, is a whole other ball game.

“This isn’t gaming on steroids,” Licensed Clinical Psychologist Douglas Col says, “this a different game altogether and we just don’t know what’s gonna come out of that.”

Dr. Col says this is just the tip of the iceberg, and companies all across the globe will start trying to capitalize on the concept of virtual reality at our fingertips though it’s unclear at this point what impact it will have on people’s health.


Kristin Hosfelt anchors NBC5 News weeknights at 5, 6 and 11. Originally from the Bay Area, Kristin earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from San Jose State University.

She came to KOBI-TV/NBC5 from Bangor, Maine where she was the evening news anchor. Kristin has won multiple journalism awards including Best Feature Reporting in the State of Maine. In 2017, her investigation on lead pipes in Medford’s water system was named Best News Series by the Oregon Association of Broadcasters.

When Kristin is not sharing the news, she’s traveling, hunting down the best burrito, or buried in a Jodi Picoult novel. She’s also a Green Bay Packers shareholder; if you see her out and about she’d be happy to tell you the story of how a California girl became a cheesehead.

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