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Uses and Gratifications of Pokémon Go: Why do People Play Mobile Location-Based Augmented Reality Games?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
Issue number9
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


In recent years, augmented reality games (ARGs) such as Pokémon Go have become increasingly popular. These games not only afford a novel gaming experience but also have the potential to alter how players view their physical realities. In addition to the common experiences and gratifications people derive from games, (location-based) ARGs can afford, for example outdoor adventures, communal activities, and health benefits, but also create problems stemming from, for example privacy concerns and poor usability. This raises some important research questions as to what drives people to use these new applications, and why they may be willing to spend money on the content sold within them. In this study, we investigate the various gratifications people derive from ARGs (Pokémon Go) and the relationship of these gratifications with the players’ intentions to continue playing and spending money on them. We employ data drawn from players of Pokémon Go (N = 1190) gathered through an online survey. The results indicate that game enjoyment, outdoor activity, ease of use, challenge, and nostalgia are positively associated with intentions to reuse (ITR), meanwhile outdoor activity, challenge, competition, socializing, nostalgia and ITR are associated with in-app purchase intentions (IPI). In contrast with our expectations, privacy concerns or trendiness were not associated with reuse intentions or IPI.


  • Augmented reality, freemium, gamification, location-based games, Uses and Gratifications

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland