Mobile Video Game and Well-being: Older Pokemon Players in Hong Kong as a Case Study

Ka Yi Fung, Gina Lai

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperpeer-review


Video-game playing has become a favorite leisure activity for young people, whose well-being associated with the activity has generated much research attention. Older people are usually portrayed as technologically illiterate and overlooked by researchers in the field. Limited studies on mature players largely focus on older adults living in institutionalized homes. To fill the research gap, this study examines the impacts of video-game playing on the well- being of mature adults living in the community. Data are collected from a group of mature players of a mobile video game (Pokémon Go or PKMG in short) in Hong Kong through participant observations and interviews. Findings show that PKMG enables these mature adults to develop new friendship ties in the community and contributes to the players’ physical, psychological, and social well-being. The game requires players to accomplish various tasks in different places. Having companions to walk together helps sustain the players’ interest in the game that playing together becomes a much anticipated daily activity for them. The daily walk in turn helps lower their blood pressure and cholesterol level. Moreover, through attaining good game performance, the mature players attract praises and admiration from other players, including even the young ones. This gives them a great sense of achievement and boosts their self-esteem. Playing the game as a daily routine also provides the players with a sense of purpose in life. In addition, the friendship network provides the mature players with informational, material, and emotional support that is not easily accessible in daily life.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2021
EventLeisure for Older Adults in Asia Conference 2021 - Online
Duration: 19 Jan 202120 Jan 2021


ConferenceLeisure for Older Adults in Asia Conference 2021
Internet address


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