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Spatial disparities in accessibility to recreational amenities: the case of Pokémon GO

Abstract : In this study, we analyze spatial disparities in access to particular recreational amenities. We focus on the famous application for smart phones: Pokémon GO. The aim of this location-based augmented reality application is to capture and collect virtual creatures called Pokémon, using a cell phone. Collecting Pokémon is made possible by using certain items only available in particular places, called Pokéstops, that the player has to visit in order to obtain them. Pokéstops are also very useful to players because the chances of finding Pokémon within its vicinity are higher as opposed to elsewhere. Because these Pokéstops are not randomly located, some spatial disparities have been observed by players. Our objective is to explain these spatial disparities in French cities. We focus on the French department of Loire-Atlantique and Nantes metropolis that permit use, to compare situations and determinants in urban and rural neighborhoods. Results of different spatial econometric models reveal strong disparities between neighborhoods located in the Nantes metropolis, and others. It appears that determinants of these disparities may vary according to whether an individual is located in a rural or urban area. Location of Pokéstops does not seem to be correlated with population characteristics, but rather with local amenities such as historical monuments, shops, or green spaces.
Keywords : Pokemon Go
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 30, 2022 - 9:38:24 AM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 2:54:51 PM

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Florent Sari. Spatial disparities in accessibility to recreational amenities: the case of Pokémon GO. Annals of Regional Science, Springer Verlag (Germany), 2020, 64 (2), pp.389-419. ⟨10.1007/s00168-019-00961-8⟩. ⟨hal-03709678⟩

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