Everything Parents Need to Know About: Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the latest craze in all things mobile gaming apps: Pokémon Go. It is the game that all man, woman and child has been playing.

What is Pokémon Go?

If you’ve heard the theme song for the anime series, it goes something like “Gotta Catch ‘Em All”. And so, Pokémon Go is basically is a mobile game where you walk about and catch Pokémon. That is pretty much the entire concept.
However, what elevates is the fact the game uses augmented reality and simulates the catching of Pokémon into real life. It is a mashup between and actual life game and a video game.
The game uses the device’s GPS tracker to hash out your actual map. Then, you’ve got to walk about and find Pokémon around your town. You collect Pokémon, you train them, then you battle them against other Pokémon.

What Has the Reception Been Like?

Pokémon Go has quite easily taken over the entire world. Everyone is playing it. In fact, the game has surpassed the actual Pokémon fan base… people who have never seen the anime series are playing the game. It is also not limited to an age group. Like I said earlier, kids, teens, young adults, adults—everyone is playing it. That is what the developers were aiming for. They wanted to keep the game simple. By not making it super complicated, they allowed other people to experience the Pokémon universe and play a game where they get to mix reality with video games.

A Lot of Walking Involved

It has had quite the impact on people! In order to collect Pokémon, people are stepping out of the house, taking long walks. You collect Pokémon eggs and in order to hatch them, you’ve got to walk a certain distance. For instance, there are 2 kilometer eggs, 5 kilometer eggs and so forth. Oh, and it is giving the Americans a chance to learn the metric system, too (okay not really, but you bet people are doing a lot of math converting kilometers into miles).
That is the amount of walking you have to do to hatch the eggs and earn yourself a Pokémon. And you can’t cheat out of walking, either! If you drive, the app will detect the motion and it won’t be included in your miles. Earlier, people found a cheat where they would tape their smartphones onto ceiling fans to get the miles, but the developers found a way around that as well. You really have to do the walking with this one.
And that is a brilliant thing! People are stepping out, getting some air and getting some physical activity in their daily lives through a video game. I mean think about it. Gen Y and Gen Z are criticized by their elders for
• Spending too much time on their devices
• Not getting enough fresh air
• Preferring video games over outdoor games
• Living generally sedentary lifestyles
With Pokémon Go, these kids get to have the best of both worlds. They get to play their favorite video games, and they get in some physical activity. Walking, running, collecting Pokémon… there really isn’t anything bad about this game, is there?
Well, unfortunately, there are grey areas with every development in tech. Things parents should know about if they want to protect their kids. In our next blog, I’m going to talk about all the red flags that are associated with the game so you can take the right precautions. Till then, I’ve got to go out and hatch some Pokémon…


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