Since Pokémon Go was released by Nintendo the world seems to have gone crazy! The augmented reality game combines GPS mapping, mobile phone video and time-tracking features to combine real life players (that’s you) into a virtual game.
The game was supposed to encourage people to walk towards preset Pokestops. It maps your current whereabouts and displays roads that lead towards a Pokestop where you can capture Pokémon.
THE PLUS SIDE OF POKEMON GO
It is definitely encouraging children, teenagers, adults and even senior citizens to walk more. The game has added a fun element into walking. Something that started out as a fad has turned into a revolution.
The don’t-trust-a-stranger syndrome has been replaced by solidarity. If one person lures a Pokémon into a particular zone, whoever is in that area can capture a Pokémon. You will notice total strangers cooperating with each other in pursuit of the game.
SOME PARENTAL CONCERNS
Cost of the game
The augmented reality game can be downloaded free of cost. But to actually play the game, you have to make in-app purchase of Pokecoins; and you have to buy these with real money.
Most families use the Family Sharing setting on iOS and Family Group setting on Android mobile devices so that all the family members can purchase Pokecoins. If many members of a family are playing Pokémon Go, they will use a lot of cellular data and the service provider’s bills will shoot up. Since the game is an addiction the bank balance could go haywire!
A game that encourages social interaction is praiseworthy. Forming a team is essential for some aspects of the game, like owning a gym. A gym can be used in combat and to help you move on to the next level. In the spirit of cooperation your kids will come across all kind of strangers – some friendly and intent on the game; others that could prove dangerous. With the number of tragic situations players have found themselves in, the game is an additional cause for concern for parents.
Also, Pokestops (where Pokémon are found) are based entirely on GPS or virtual locations. The creators of the game do not know the ground reality. The “lure” option of the game could be used by unscrupulous strangers. All those who are nearby will try to reach that particular spot to capture Pokémon. Several incidents of mugging, robbery and assault have been reported after people were lured by the game.
What about safety in traffic? You are walking in the direction of the “lure” and are too busy looking at your phone. Do you really notice the speeding traffic around you? Contrarily, what happens when you stumble upon a Pokémon while driving? There have been numerous accidents because of distracted drivers.
SOLUTIONS TO POKEMON GO CONCERNS
To keep the children safe from oncoming traffic, just keep their mobiles on vibrator. As soon as a Pokémon is spotted, their phone will vibrate. They must be asked to move over to the pavement before checking the phone.
When you are not accompanying the kids, ask them to move around in groups. It is best that they don’t wander around alone. There is definitely safety in numbers. With Google+ on Android phones and Find My Friend on Apple devices, you can keep a watch over their movements and ensure they are in a safe locality.
A smartphone doesn’t come cheap. When your child is engrossed in walking to capture Pokémon the kid might trip and drop the phone. Why stop your kid from playing Pokémon Go? Just get a new protective cover for the mobile phone. Let them enjoy and be safe at the same time.