Even if you are not familiar with the world of video games or anime, you will have heard of Pokemon Go by now. It’s a new game that involves you taking your phone, going out into the world and collecting virtual creatures all over your town and beyond. It’s been a massive hit and millions of people around the world have jumped onto it, but the media have to and they are telling you mainly one thing: Pokemon Go is dangerous.
Don’t believe the hype.
Everything in this world is dangerous if you buy into it. There are only the reports of people being robbed, getting injured or finding corpses whilst playing and clearly, this is the fault of Pokemon Go, right? No. No it’s not. People get robbed every day, sadly and people have accidents (normally it’s their own fault) and people sometimes find unsavoury things on walks. It just so happens that at the time, people were playing a really popular game.
So, as someone who has played the game (and basically lost her husband to it), let me give you actual facts rather than straight up bad reporting. This is why Pokemon Go is actually great for you AND your kids.
1. Pokemon Go gets you all out of the house and walking.
This is what Pokemon Go was designed for. Nintendo in particular are a very family friendly company, coming up with all sorts of innovations to try and get their customers healthy and active. Pokemon Go is entirely based on getting you out walking around and exploring. Don’t think you can cheat and go in the car either. It stops registering if you go more than 12mph. Don’t believe the reports of needing to go into people’s gardens to grab a Pokemon. You don’t. As long as you can see it on your screen, you can catch it. No trespassing required.
2. It promotes teamwork & social interaction.
Pokemon Go features three teams and gyms, which are controlled by specific teams. The app promotes teamwork in order to win the gyms from opposing teams. This means you and your children (and their friends) can get together on the same team and take it all on together. You all have to be in the vicinity of the gym to do this, so it will get your kids playing together with their friends outside rather than over the internet in front of their Playstation.
3. You don’t have to pay to win.
Don’t misunderstand me. You can pay money to get items in Pokemon Go, but in reality you absolutely do not need to. One thing that you cannot buy within the app is the Pokemon themselves, so it doesn’t matter how much money a clueless parent ploughs into it, unless they get up and find the Pokemon they’re after, then they’re not going to advance. The menu to pay for items is also pretty well guarded, so as long as you have password protected your account, you shouldn’t be surprised with any awful bill at the end.
4. It introduces them to first world problems.
I’m talking battery life here more than anything. This is a serious energy drain if you have it on your screen, so if you’re out an about there’s a battery saver mode that means when it’s in your pocket getting the steps in to hatch your Pokemon Eggs, it doesn’t die on you. If nothing else, it may get your kids into the habit of having a phone in their pocket and not getting it out every five minutes to check Facebook. Don’t worry though, it vibrates if a Pokemon is nearby, so you won’t miss any!
5. It introduces them gently to failure.
I know what you’re thinking “Wow, Amy, harsh” and in a way I agree with you, but this game is probably the gentlest way to introduce your young ones to not getting their own way all of the time. They might come across a Pokemon they’ve never seen before and desperately try and catch it, but try as they might the damn thing buggers off in a cloud of smoke, never to be seen again. Kid may have a meltdown or six when this first happens, but behold a few levels later, it appears again and manages to catch it with the better equipment they’ve unlocked. The progression curve is really smooth in this app, meaning that it won’t be long before the failures are driving your kids to get better, not making them have a paddy in the middle of the street.
Of course, there are going to be dangers with any app that sort of needs you to walk around looking at your phone instead of where you’re going. Just be sensible everybody, look out for each other and don’t be afraid to get in on the action because the one added bonus is that your kids will almost immediately forget about that dog they’ve been wanting desperately for the past year and a half!
Do any of you guys play Pokemon Go? What do you make of all of the negative publicity? Meet me in the comments, especially if you think I’m totally wrong here because I freaking love a good debate! If you want to stay up to date with our posts on Mum’s The Law, be sure to jump over to our Facebook Page and give us a like! It’s much appreciated and it’s the easiest way to keep up with all our musings!