Pokémon GO Is Bringing People Together And Helping To Ease Social Anxiety

A video game with a purpose.

Pokémon GO is already the most popular app in the history of the United States.

Survey Monkey is reporting that it has beat out Candy Crush on US smartphones with 21 million active users trying to "catch em' all." 

Besides being a smash hit game, Pokémon GO is helping people get out of the house and meet strangers they didn't know had a similar interest. That's because in order to play the game, you have to walk around outside in order to find Pokémon.

This is a video of Central Park only a few days ago, where fans were congregating to catch them some Pokémon.

In a time where turmoil and racial tensions are gripping the country, it is also helping to bring together people from diverse backgrounds.

In Australia, organizers set up a PokéGoWalk, where thousands gathered around the King Street Wharf.

Have you ever seen so many people congregate outside to play a video game?

Watch out if a Pikachu appears though!

The game is also helping people with mental illnesses, such as depression, get out the house, meet others, and exercise a bit.

Dr. John Grohol, who has studied people's mental health activity online for the past 20 years, told Engadget that he couldn't believe how many people the game has helped in real life.

He said this was "first time I've ever seen anything like that," and the act of getting outside "can really be beneficial. This is because exercise has shown to act as an depressant.

According to the Harvard Medical School website, "studies stretching back to 1981 concluded that regular exercise can improve mood in people with mild to moderate depression."

Dr. Grohol did emphasize that while this is a great effect, people who suffer from mental illness should also seek help from professionals as well. 

Dogs are also getting a boost from their owners who are hunting for Pokémon, for better or worse.

Hey, as long as they are getting outside.

The economy, outside of Nintendo's stock, is also seeing a bump.

While Nintendo's stock value jumped $9 billion, one New York pizzeria by the name of L'inizio Pizza Bar is using "lures" to spawn digital Pokèmon around their store. 

Due to the increase of Pokèmon, more people began showing up, sitting down to purchase beers and food. According to CNBC, L'inizio saw sales rocket up 75 percent after spending just $10 on an in-app purchase of a lure.

So whether you're getting outside for exercise, a walk with a very pooped pooch, relief from anxiety, a store with soaring sales, or just looking for some friends, Pokèmon GO is changing the world around us. Just make sure to pick your head up when crossing the street!