A Mommy’s Guide to Pokemon Go

If you never really got into Pokemon in the 90s, then you’re probably wondering why you’ve been seeing a bunch of people walking aimlessly around the Metro with their eyes glued to their phones. Yes, the worldwide phenomenon called Pokemon Go has arrived here in the Philippines last weekend, and it has gotten everybody hooked–adults, teenagers, kids… yup, everyone! But if you’re still clueless as to what the hype is all about, here’s a little cheat sheet for all of you.

What is Pokemon, anyway? 

The phenomenon started out in the mid 90s as a video game. Remember the Gameboy? It became so popular that it branched out into movies, a television show, plush toys, you name it! Modern day technology caught has up and has made it possible for Pokemon Go, an augmented reality app you can play with on your mobile devices, to exist.

What do you do with a Pokemon? 

In the game, you are a Pokemon trainer trying to catch all the Pokemon (short for Pocket Monsters) that are out there. You train them, level them up, evolve them, and eventually enter them into battles with other Pokemon trainers.

How does the app work? Why is everyone walking around? 

The game allows you to catch the different kinds of Pokemon (there are hundreds!) in real time. The app uses GPS and mobile data, so once you start walking, you’ll get moving in the app too. Pokemon are all over the place, and the goal here is to catch ’em all by swiping Pokeballs at the creatures when they appear on your screen.  

There are so many people in malls and parks playing! Do you have to be in some kind of common ground to play?

In the app, you can purchase an item called a lure (those pink petals in the photo above), which attracts Pokemon to a certain spot. You can only use lures in Poke Stops (the blue cubes in the photo above), which are common places on your Poke map. These Poke Stops are actual places and items, like for example, the welcome sign of a village, a painting in a restaurant, or a fountain in a mall. So if you put a lure in a Poke Stop, everyone else can use it, too. And yes, it can get a little crazy sometimes!

Million dollar question: Is it dangerous for my kids? 

You might have noticed that all of these people playing the game have their eyes glued to their phones, and well, they’re not really looking where they’re going, are they? There have even been reports of kids getting into accidents on the streets while playing!

A few things to remember before you let your kids go become Pokemon masters:

  1. Remind them to be wary of their surroundings. As mentioned above, there have been reports of kids falling down and getting hurt since they’re so concentrated on the game and not looking where they’re going.
  2. Make sure your kids don’t go wandering off to shady or dangerous places while playing–you’ll never know who or what they could bump into. And we’re not talking about Pokemon!
  3. Don’t play Pokemon Go while driving! You might get into an accident!
  4. Be sure that you’re not trespassing private property while trying to catch your Pokemon!
  5. Priorities first! Remind your kids that they have responsibilities, like homework and chores. Be sure they aren’t playing in school either.

It’s just another video game! How can this be educational or useful for my kids?

What’s great about Pokemon Go is that it encourages you to go outside and walk around in order to catch the Pokemon you’re looking for. This can provide great exercise for you and it keeps you from being cooped up in your living room, lying down on the couch glued to a screen. Although it is a played on a device and adds to their screen time, at least it gets them active also!

There you have it, folks! We hope we were able to give you a better idea on what Pokemon Go is all about, and how it works. Everybody seems to be enjoying it, so why not give it a try and tell us about it? It could be a great bonding activity with your kids too!


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