Have you or your kids fallen into the Pokemon Go craze? If you haven’t heard of this yet, we put together some information about the game and what you should know if your kids are playing it. This app was released less than a week ago and is the top grossing app on iTunes so the chances are you will hear about it soon, if you haven’t already. There are some fun aspects and some dangers to be aware of as you evaluate if this is right for your family.
Let’s back up and start at the beginning.
The first Pokemon Games came to the Nintendo Game System in 1996. They started in Japan. The goal of the games is to collect pokemon characters. You are generally on a journey to be a trainer where you collect pokemon to become a pokemon master. As you travel the world you encounter different scenarios with the goal of challenging the leaders and gain a reward.
Fast forward to this past weekend when Pokemon Go, the newest in the Pokemon game series, was released and has seemingly taken over the world. The goal of this new Pokemon is to find Pokemon in the world in which we live. Pokestops are used to replenish your items that you’ve used to capture your pokemon.
Pokemon Go Explained
I heard The Today Show describe it as a real world scavenger hunt. Pokemon Go is an app on your or your child’s smartphone. Basically to use this app you need to have your phone and app on. Have you seen people walking around not paying attention and looking in strange places? Probably playing Pokemon Go! The Pokemons are randomly generated as you walk around using your phone’s GPS and clock, which detects where and when you are in the game. This is known as an augmented reality game – the ability to witness an altered version of our world.
The Martin Center here on campus is a Pokestop and so we took a walk up the street and found a pokemon.We caught the pokemon and were able to replenish our supplies at the Pokestop.
The Fun of Pokemon Go
- You get outside and get some exercise.
- It’s imaginative
- It encourages you to experience the world
- It is a social game so it encourages interactions and develops friendship around a common interest
- It’s educational. Pokestops include many landmarks and historical sights so you learn as you go.
- Fun for kids and adults to play together.
- People aren’t watching where they are going. Pedestrians have been struck. Vehicle accidents have happened and numerous personal injuries have been reported.
- People are driving and pokemoning.
- It can potentially lead into dangerous situations. Robbers are said to use the game to lure people who turn up in places alone and then they are robbed.
- Kids lose their “stranger danger” sense – One mom’s story: “One element of the game sees users putting a ‘lure’ on a certain area, which causes Pokemon to appear in that position, attracting gamers to the area. Fearful of where this could lead, one woman carried out an ‘experiment’, which saw her post a ‘lure’ to see how many people turned up. Within moments, several children had arrived at the chosen – most without parents – having ignored their usual ‘stranger danger’ radar in pursuit of the monster. ‘It occurs to me that someone could use this for nefarious purposes’, the user known as Robin wrote. ‘There’s a sense of camaraderie that is built up around this game. The kid I just played with definitely lost his stranger danger sense.’
- There are some reports that your information is not secure. Please note that a statement by the company says this was an error and will be fixed in an upcoming update.
Here is a story from one police station in Duvall, Washington.
A great informational video from Today.com
Bottom line, if you or your kids are going to play Pokemon Go, be aware, stay vigilant and be safe. Talk to you kids about the dangers. You know your kids and can decide what is best for them and your family.
And, just for fun….
Do you have a Pokemon Go story? Do tell!