I am now 72 hours into my Pokemon Go adventure with my 9-year-old. What an adventure it has been! I have found that over the last 3 days I have exceeded my daily step goal by thousands of steps. Last night, my son and I discovered that the PokeStop we walked to was a new park in our neighborhood that we had never been to before. I was delighted when he handed me the phone and said ‘Mom, I’m going to go play in the park now – you watch for Poke’. We have walked miles together over the last few days to hatch Poke Eggs and discover new sights wherever we go together (We were really excited to hatch a Hitmonlee last night which a passing stranger, also playing the game, helped us identify and classify).
I have researched some more about the game and learned that pink sparks on your screen are lures. Many thieves are using lures to attract players and steal their phones. I taught my kids to never go to lures or use them (incense) unless they were with an adult and we were in a public place (ie. restaurant) where they can be safe. I have also learned that this game can suck the life out of the battery on your phone. There is a battery saving feature but I choose not to use it to limit our game play. Once the battery is gone – we are done for the day and we go home and have a lengthy discussion about all of the cool things we saw and did together. I also read last night that this game gives unprecedented access to your email which the game designers are working to fix. I’m glad I used a dummy account to launch this game (a lesson that I was able to share with my children as well).
I found that I actually took a break and walked outside for 10 minutes at work yesterday (there is a PokeStop outside my office building). What a revelation to get away from my desk for 10 minutes into the sunshine! I have decided to try this again today to do further research to see if this activity should become habit.
It was good last night to have my son greet me at the door when I got home from work with a giant hug. Now, I realize that he may have been more excited to see my phone with the PoGo game than me but, hey, I’ll take the hug and the warm welcome after a long day anytime.
Well, I’m off to go for my morning walk now (close to hatching another egg and want to surprise Rhys with it – oh yeah, and get my workout done). Looking forward to seeing what today’s adventure brings with my son.
OK, after 24 hours of Pokemon Go use, I want to give a parent’s review of it. I think it is a wonderful app for engaging in quality time with your kids. I put the app on my cell phone (my 9yo does not have a cell) and told my son that we would do it together so the only time he could engage in the game is with me. We spent one of the best days together yesterday. We had lively discussions all day long as my son took great pride in bringing his mom up to speed on everything he knows about Pokemon (which is a lot!). We went on a walk together (apparently you have to walk to hatch your eggs – fabulous!) and so I met my step count easily yesterday and he got more than his daily 60 minutes of exercise that is recommended for his age. As we were walking, we ran across several other groups of kids and adults playing the same game in which we were able to stop and share information and socialize. The real fun is in trying to take a fun photo of one of us with the Pokemon before we capture it or it disappears (we are getting quite creative with our photos). As far as apps go, I would give a solid 5 stars from a parent’s perspective. I am really looking forward to what today will bring and what new things we will discover together. Well done #Nintendo !