Whether you’ve been playing or not, there is virtually no way you haven’t at least heard mention of the new gaming craze Pokémon GO.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar, Pokémon GO is a location-based augmented reality game that allows you to catch Pokémon in “real life”. So if you’ve been wondering why packs of people are walking around “aimlessly” swiping their phones at invisible creatures- that’s why.

I’ll admit that I’ve been hooked since I’ve started playing last week, but I think that for the first time in my life I can honestly say that a video game has impacted me in a positive way- shocking I know.

For those who haven’t started yet, here are a few reasons why you should join the millions who are already playing Pokémon GO. And those of you who are hooked like I am, keep on keeping on my friends- maybe one day we’ll meet for battle at one of the gyms.

A Few Certainties When You Start Playing Pokémon GO

1. You’ll have fun.

Okay this might seem a little too obvious, but it’s first on the list because sometimes we really do forget to have fun. It’s too easy to get caught up in a day-to-day routine and after a while it starts to feel like you’re simply “going through the motions”. Well, what better way to break up the rut than to find and capture a wild Meowth on your desk?

2. You’ll be forced to exercise.

Forced may sound like a harsh word for people who actually enjoy exercising regularly, but if you’re anything like me and haven’t been to the gym in several months, you can really benefit from this. The geniuses at Niantic have created the game so you have to actually walk/run/ bike to get from one place to another, take advantage of Pokéstops, and hatch eggs. Having someone drive you around just doesn’t cut it (trust me I’ve tried). You know what that means? Parents will no longer have to yell at their children to stop sitting around playing video games all day and gamers will finally see the light- daylight that is.

3. You’ll instantly belong to the Pokémon community.

It’s part of our human nature to want to feel wanted and accepted by others, which is another reason why this game is great. Whether you are 8 years old or 28, chances are you or someone you know plays. Along with promoting exercise, the game is designed to be interactive with other people who play. Walking around Manhattan this past weekend I bumped into quite a few other players, who stopped and smiled when they realized I was playing too.

4. You’ll be more social.

Believe it or not, Pokémon GO will give you an excuse to talk to people. Crazy to think that people actually need an excuse to talk, but having a shared interest is always a good conversation starter. I think this will be especially useful for parents who want to connect more with their children. Pokémon has also been the topic of conversation between my co-workers and I every morning, which is a fun way to start the day.

5. You’ll discover new places.

Another great feature in the game are the Pokéstops. Pokéstops (places in the game where you stop to collect supplies) are scattered around towns and cities, usually taking shape as landmarks or shops- again giving gamers incentive to get out of the house and explore. Since I’ve started playing I’ve discovered a park a few blocks away from my house that I probably never would’ve gone to otherwise. Who knows, you might go somewhere with the intention of restocking on Pokéballs and end up at a new favorite coffe shop, or park, or just a really cool statue you never noticed.

So there you have it guys- get out your phones and get into the game!