Pokemon Go: A Parent’s Quick Guide

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Why Should a Parent Understand the Basics of Pokemon Go?

Pokemon Go offers an opportunity to spend time with your kids in a way different from other video games. Because Pokemon Go combines elements from the real world with the Pokemon Go virtual world, your kids have to leave the house to play. It is a great way to convince your kids to go for a walk, jog or bike ride. Although you will need to make some stops to play the game it will get you moving. Your route will need to go by the PokeStops or Pokemon Gyms, but that is generally a good thing. 

Pokemon Go is great for the Dads who aren’t gamers because you don’t have to play the game to get the benefit of spending time and getting exercise.

The Basics of Pokemon Go

Pokemon is short for Pocket Monsters, but don’t call them monsters they are Pokemon (I made that mistake and was strongly rebuked). They look like mythical creatures and have special powers and unusual names. You may remember the Pokemon cards and PokeBalls from years ago (occasionally you still see kids with them) or even the old cartoon. 

Pokemon Go is the mobile app version of the card game. You travel to various locations trying to catch as many Pokemon as possible (Gotta catch em all!). Catching Pokemon is done in a couple ways using the Pokemon Go app and will require going to PokeStops and Pokemon gyms.

What you’ll need to know before venturing out is that you will need to stop at PokeStops and Pokemon Gyms. A Poke Stop usually requires a quick 30 second stop until moving on since that is where the player picks up stuff and occasionally catches Pokemon. The longer stops will be at the Pokemon Gyms (after level 5). This is where the player tries to conquer the Gym. The attempt to take over the Gym is limited to 90 seconds, but they can make more than one attempt.

We have intentionally left out a lot of the details so you can use the game as an opportunity for your child to teach you about the game.

7 Pokemon Go Tips and Learning Opportunities

1. Explaining complex topics.

Unless you are a gamer yourself, your child will know more about the game than you, so let him or her explain it to you. Most kids hate to talk about school but get them talking about Pokemon Go. Let them teach you. 

2. History & community.

The cool thing about Pokemon Go is that the PokeStops and Gyms are often in parks, at churches or historical buildings. These present obvious learning opportunities.

3. Respect for others.

You’ll want to be careful at PokeStops and Gyms because these locations can be having events like weddings and church services. Unless the bride and groom are gamers, they probably don’t want people photo bombing their wedding photos. 

4.Respect for others property.

Private homes and private property sometimes end up as PokeStops or Gyms, so you’ll just want to ensure that you are not on private property.

5. Don’t cheat.

There are hacks or cheats that allow the player to stay indoors and spoof their location. The game maker is plugging these holes and kicking players off. 

6. Economics 101

Different Pokemon have more value and are rarer than others.

7. Economics 102

Niantic, the game developer, makes money by selling stuff within the game. You don’t need to purchase anything if you don’t want to. 

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