Pokemon GO Canada: Players Agree It’s “Taking Over Their Life”
Pokemon GO Canada: Players Agree It’s “Taking Over Their Life”

Pokemon GO Canada: Players Agree It’s “Taking Over Their Life”

With Pokémon GO now legally available for download in Canada, many Canadians who have downloaded the app admit that it is beginning to consume their lives, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News.

Three in ten (29%) Pokémon GO players ‘agree’ (10% strongly/19% somewhat) that ‘Pokémon GO is taking over my life’. In fact, three in ten (29%) ‘agree’ (11% strongly/18% somewhat) that they have skipped out of some of their regular day-to-day activities like not working out to play Pokémon GO. Two in ten (16%) even ‘agree’ (5% strongly/12% somewhat) that they have been late for work or school, or missed a shift or class, in order to play Pokémon GO, and half (49%) ‘agree’ (26% strongly/23% somewhat) that they’re spending more time on Pokemon GO than on other social media sites like Facecbook or Snapchat.

Two in ten (19%) online Canadians aged 13+ say they’ve downloaded Pokémon GO on their smartphone, and play the game for 1.9 hours on average each day. While half (51%) of those who have downloaded the app play for less than 2 hours per day, others play for 2 hours (23%), 3 hours (12%), 4 hours (6%) or 5 or more (10%) hours per day. To put the figure “two in ten” in context, it is roughly the proportion of Canadians aged 12 and older who say they smoke cigarettes. There are roughly the same number of cigarette smokers as Pokémon GO players in Canada.

Three in four (75%) Canadians, overall, say they’re aware (32% very/43% somewhat) of the game. Just 9% are not at all aware of it, while 17% are not very aware. Among those who have not yet downloaded Pokémon GO, two in ten (21%) say they are ‘likely’ (5% very/16% somewhat) to download the location-based augmented reality mobile game, suggesting that the number of players in Canada could still grow significantly.

While Pokémon GO might be consuming the lives of many of its players, it also appears to be benefiting its players beyond simply capturing Pokémon, candies and stardust:

  • Since they’ve downloaded Pokémon GO, players have walked an average of 12.8 kilometers in total. Nearly one in ten (9%) players have walked over 30 kilometers in pursuit of Pokémon!
  • Three quarters (73%) of players ‘agree’ (40% strongly/33% somewhat) that they have met other people on the streets who are playing Pokémon Go.
  • Two in three (68%) players ‘agree’ (33% strongly/35% somewhat) that they have walked around a part of their town or region where they normally would not just so they could capture a Pokémon.

In other words, while many players might be spending a good portion of their day running around neighbourhoods and parks in search of Pokémon, they’re meeting new people and exploring new places in the process.

Who Is Playing?

Intuitively, the data reveal that the majority of Pokémon players are young and they skew male. However, many Gen Xers are also playing, as are women:

  • Those aged 13-17 (37%) and 18-34 (44%) are by far the most likely to have downloaded the app, followed by those aged 35-54 (14%) and very few people aged 55+ (1%). Those aged 18-34 also appear to be playing the most on any given day (2.1 hours a day on average, and have walked 15.2 km in total) slightly more than teens (1.9 hours a day on average, and have walked 12.9 km in total), Gen X (1.5 hours a day, 7.9 km in total) or Boomer players (0.8 hours a day, 1.8 km in total).
  • Players are more likely to be men (23%) than women (16%). Men are playing longer each day (2.2 hours on average) than women (1.6 hours), and they’ve also walked a significantly-longer distance than women (14.9 km total for men vs. 10 km total for women).
  • Those in Ontario (21%) and Quebec (21%) appear most likely to have downloaded the app, followed by those living in Alberta (20%), British Columbia (18%), Atlantic Canada (16%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (11%).


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