The augmented reality game where you find and capture pokémon characters at various locations, Pokémon GO, was released in most places around the world this month. Now I can barely walk out my front door until I see someone battling for pokémon, stardust or walking to hatch eggs.
In the past week I have read and heard a lot of different articles and opinions about this new game that seems to be taking over the world. Our friends are talking about it, it’s everywhere in the news – and of course, the kids are talking about it on Momio!
“Should I be excited or worried right now?”
Many parents are of course sceptical and as a community manager I was too. I’ve heard arguments like “it’s not safe for kids to walk outside to play this game” and “it’s just out of control, kids should not play this!”. It is pretty much the same arguments as with Momio and I hear these on a daily basis when people ask me about watAgame and what we do. Well, let’s take a look at the different pros and cons about letting our kids use Pokémon GO.
What I would call the amazing aspect of Pokémon GO, is that the kids are voluntarily getting out of the house, meeting their friends or hanging out with the family and getting exercise without even thinking about it! They are interacting with other people face to face and they get to explore the outdoors. It can additionally be very educational to visit the different Pokéstops, as there always is a small description of an interesting place or a monument. You can learn a lot about the history of different small places around where you live.
It is different, it is exciting and it is the future of gaming. Your kid should definitely be allowed to take a part in that, just like they should be allowed to chat and play games with their friends on Momio.
But like everything that is positive and good in this society, there will always be individuals who will take advantage of the situation – or a kid that is desperate to catch another rare pokémon. Furthermore, with new technology comes new things to think about and be aware of. Therefore, we have created three points to go though before you let your kid run wild around the whole city – in attempt to catch ‘em all.
1. Be aware of the surroundings
Talk about remembering to look up before they cross the street and watch out for lamp posts and trash cans. Even though the game is virtual – this is now a game outside in reality. This means that they still have to make sure they are safe. No pokémon is worth an injury.
2. Be aware of the “lures” and talking to strangers
By putting out lures, pokémon will be attracted to a certain place. This means that kids as well as adults go to these public places to catch ‘em all. Even though interacting and socializing with other people is nice, make sure your kids understand where the limit is drawn. It is OK to talk to kids you don’t know, but this is a great opportunity to go out with your kids and have some quality time together.
3. Be aware of their data spending limits
As most of this game is spent outside and without wifi-connection, naturally playing Pokémon GO draws a lot of data. Make sure to check your kid’s spending limits – and either discuss what to be aware of when they have reached that limit, or make sure you upgrade their subscription. Otherwise, you can risk getting a not so pleasant surprise the next time you receive their phone bill. There are also some technical things one can do to save data. For instance, in settings you can turn off the camera, sound and music, and you can also press the battery saver.
EVERYTHING IN MODERATION
Playing Pokémon GO is just like playing Momio in some ways. It is fun, social and educational! However, Momio is often played indoors, and not by wandering the streets. We also have a safe chat, which enables the kids to talk about pokémons and anything else in a safe and secure environment. What we notice though, is that kids are outside playing pokémon for a few hours – and then they come home and talk to their friends about it on Momio!
Momio also closes at 11 pm (midnight in holidays), which also ensures that kids go to bed and can be rested and ready for the next day. We like the combination of outdoor fun in bright daylight – and returning home and online with friends and be able to tell them all about the adventure they’ve been on!
Finally, connect and explore!
This is a perfect opportunity to connect with your kids by doing something both can have fun with, while being active and exploring the city together. Who knows, after a whole day of catching pokémons together – maybe you will learn something new about Momio as well! ;)