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University of Idaho Students Can Earn College Credits Playing Pokemon Go

This fall the University of Idaho is offering a course called “Pop Culture Games” in which students can play Pokemon Go and other smartphone and live-action games.

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    Toronto Star via Getty Images, File
    Two "Pokemon Go" enthusiasts play the game in Toronto on July 14, 2016 in this file photo.

    Pokemania has all but taken over the global landscape as players of the popular app take their Pokeball quest through parks, stadiums, museums, and now into the realm of academia.

    This fall, the University of Idaho is offering a course called “Pop Culture Games” in which students can play Pokemon Go and other smartphone and live-action games for course credits. The class is designed to teach students about living active lifestyles, teamwork and exploring their communities. 

    “This app does more than let you shoot a Pokeball,” instructor Steven Bird told the University of Idaho News. “You get to adventure around, seeing different things, being active, seeing the sun.”

    Pokemon Go, with over 100 million iOS and Android downloads to date, allows players to search for digital creatures that pop up on smartphone screens as they move through real-world locations.

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    State Department spokesman John Kirby called out a reporter playing 'Pokemon Go' during a briefing Thursday. (Published Friday, July 22, 2016)

    Bird, a staff member in the UI College of Education’s Department of Movement Sciences, said he had been planning the course for some time, but after seeing the popularity of Pokemon Go, he knew he had to make it part of the course.

    “We are hoping to capture the interest in Pokemon Go and other active games and draw the link with a healthy, active lifestyle,” Philip Scruggs, chair of UI Department of Movement Sciences, told the university news.