Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm, and chances are your children have Pokemon fever as well. If your kids are clamoring to play the augmented reality game, you can use the game to teach real world lessons and have fun with your kids as well. Having said that however, the decision to allow your child to play Pokemon Go however shouldn’t be glossed over. If you are thinking about playing Pokemon Go with your child, our parents guide can help.
Everyone has heard the horror stories related to Pokemon Go. Players are getting injured, causing car accidents, getting shot at and robbed while playing the game. The first Pokemon Go related fatality took place just a few weeks ago, which should give any parent pause.
Teaching kids to play Pokemon Go safely is the biggest key. If you are looking for the best way to play Pokemon Go with your kids, read on to see our parents guide.
Parents Guide to Pokemon Go
How does Pokemon Go work? – The world’s biggest mobile game in history relies on a GPS based treasure hunt system. By walking around your neighborhood, players can track their favorite Pokemon down and catch them. Kids collect powerups and virtual monsters in a race to catch every Pokemon out there. It’s another video game, but it’s also a terrific way for your kids to get exercise and explore.
Once a Pokemon reveals itself on your mobile phone, your child can enter into capture mode. To catch Pokemon, simply throw the Pokeball at the monster to attempt to capture it. By collecting and catching Pokemon, kids can engage in virtual battle, level up their characters and evolve their Pokemon.
How to keep kids safe playing Pokemon Go – Because of the nature of the game, most players walk around with their gaze transfixed on their mobile device. The dangers of this style of gameplay are obvious. Without being aware of their surroundings, kids can get into trouble or injure themselves easily.
Everyone has heard the cautionary tale of men falling off a cliff playing Pokemon Go, or players being locked in a cemetery. Simply put, in order for kids to play Pokemon Go safely they need ground rules on when to look down at their screen.
Where do kids go playing Pokemon Go? – There are real world locations that play a huge role in Pokemon Go gameplay. These locations are also known as Pokestops, and players collect items from these points.
Using these items, players can upgrade their characters or their Pokemon. There are also locations called gyms, where your kids wage virtual battle for bragging rights.
However these Pokestops and gyms are also where your children will encounter other players, which is one of the primary dangers of playing the game. Being aware of where your kids are, and teaching them about stranger danger are two of the biggest keys in our parents guide.
Private Property – Along with the many reports of accidents and injuries, players have also been getting in trouble for trespassing. Many of the real world locations in Pokemon Go are private, so teaching your child about boundaries is imperative.
The last thing you want as a parent is a call saying that your child was trespassing on private property. They may be fined or even worse incur injury from the owners of the property. Teach your kids about where and how to play responsibly to take advantage of our parents guide.
Other concerns – In conjunction with Pokestops, players can use items called Lure Modules to attract more monsters. These “lures” are displayed on your screen as flower petals floating around the Pokestop. Although most lures are activated by fellow Pokemon Go players looking to catch more Pokemon, there have also been reports of criminals using them to lure players to remote areas.
Missouri is one of the many states where rashes of robberies and incidents have arisen around these locations. One of the biggest points of our parents guide to Pokemon Go is teaching your child how to be safe and how to travel in groups.
Privacy concerns – If your child has already downloaded and installed Pokemon Go, you will want to double check your Google settings. During the initial launch, developer Niantic Labs accidentally set the wrong parameters for privacy giving them total control of your Google Account.
This has since been corrected, but to be safe you should double check your privacy settings. This keeps your information private, the way it should be. Although the game still collects data, it’s wise to check your Google app settings to ensure that you aren’t giving up complete control.
There are also a bevy of third party applications out there. Some are built to show Pokemon location, others help you see when Pokemon Go servers go down. However there are a few malicious programs out there, posing as the official Pokemon Go app. Make sure that your child only downloads and installs from trusted locations, either the Apple iOS store or Google Play only.
How much will it cost for my kid to play Pokemon Go? – Although Pokemon Go uses GPS and WiFi or 4G networks to communicate with servers, the real time data used is fairly low. If your child doesn’t have a mobile device already, you’ll need to factor that into the price.
Most Pokemon Go players report minimal data usage that ranges between 2MB to 8MB of data per hour. There are some cell phone vendors offering unlimited plans specifically made for Pokemon Go. Although data usage is relatively low, Pokemon Go can drain your batteries fast.
Our parents guide can help you find the cheapest mobile phone for Pokemon Go, or use tips to save data or battery life. There are several requirements that the app requires, so make sure to check these specifications to see if your phone can run the program.
Use our parents guide to keep your children safe while playing Pokemon Go. Through careful moderation and planning, you can encourage your kid to get off the couch and exercise in your local area.
Have any questions about our Pokemon Go parents guide? Leave us a comment below and let us know!