Pokémon Go: What Do Parents Need to Know?
Some people may feel déjà vu now, hearing the word “Pokémon” everywhere. No, it is not a video game or a cartoon from the 90s; it is a new app that makes the whole world talk about it. Surprisingly, the number of Google searches for this word is bigger than the always-popular porn searches by 33%. People seem to be obsessed with this game; now they spend more time on it (43 minutes per day) than on WhatsApp (30 minutes), Instagram (25 minutes) and Snapchat (22 minutes). So, what’s the app about?
The game features once popular Pokémon characters that you need to find; the more – the better. The game has 174 of them. You can find these creatures anywhere outside as the game is connected to the real world. To play the game, you need to have activated GPS and have the Internet connection. Then, you go for a walk and can see your movement on the screen.
Your main goal is to find and catch as many Pokémon characters as you can which you can then use to wage war against other players.
As with pretty much everything, the app has positive and negative sides. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Physical activity. Well, this is the part of the game that everyone praises. The app has made many people get up and go for a walk or a bike ride. Many say that it is much better than all the other video games and apps, as people move instead of sitting.
Many people post screenshots from step-counting applications saying how many miles they’ve walked today.
Having fun with friends. Many kids play this game with friends. This allows them spending time together, compete a little bit and have fun. Many users have also been telling to make new friends while playing the game.
Getting one’s bearings. The app also allows you to explore new places in your city and to see new locations. You will know your surroundings better, which is definitely a plus.
Inappropriate locations. Many people have been complaining about the inappropriate places for a Pokémon haunt. People tried to catch characters on graveyards, in the Holocaust Museum, in hospitals, etc.
While the game is fun to play, it does not often have many boundaries location-wise. Here is the Holocaust Museum snap.
Lure. Lure is the app’s feature that is supposed to bring Pokémon creatures (and other players) to your exact location. Unfortunately, this can be used by people with evil intentions luring you into a trap. There has already been a case in Missouri where four men lured people to a parking lot and robbed them.
Attention issues. You know how the kids are when they like something. They tend to forget about all the other things in the world. In this case, they can forget about their homework, pedestrian safety, their hobbies, etc.
Playing this game is a real trend that a big number of kids and teens cannot resist. If your children are also into it and you allow it, you need to make some rules and take some safety measures. Here are some suggestions:
- Not going by yourself. Tell your kids to play with their friends instead of going by themselves. It is safer and more fun.
- Being attentive while searching. Well, not getting under the car is quite a simple rule. Many people get carried away when they play Pokémon Go not looking where they are going. Remind your kids to watch their steps.
Not going to far unfamiliar places. It especially concerns younger kids. Searching in your neighborhood, at school or other familiar places is fine, but going somewhere they’ve never been before is quite unsafe. If your kids are so crazy to go to new places to look, you can go with them. It can be a nice opportunity to spend some time together and to have fun.
- Using monitoring apps. This rule is for you. You can ask your kids not to go far and to come back home at the particular hours, but kids are kids; they disobey. You can monitor their location to make sure they are where they’re supposed to be.
It is hard to say whether parents should allow or forbid their kids to play Pokémon Go. One thing is clear: if you allow it, make sure they play it safely and are not carried away.