Pokémon GO for Your Child: To Play or Not to Play?
MindMake | TechnoloJToday
Since its launch barely a month ago, Pokémon GO has been the game people rave about, kids and adults alike. It broke records and already surpassed app titans such as Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp in terms of daily usage.
Out of all the hype the game brings, should you just let your child jump on the bandwagon and play Pokémon GO?
Truth is, it’s not that simple. But to help you decide, consider the different aspects related to the game.
Pokémon GO, as you may now have known, is a geo-caching and augmented reality type game. This means that you’d have to provide your child with a smartphone sporting at least the minimum specs required for the game to run smoothly.
On top of that, you need to have internet connectivity when playing. This will definitely impact your family data plan, especially when you are far from wifi areas. You might find yourself registering with your provider to receive offers and promos just to save up on data costs.
Then there’s device power drain. The player wanders about in the real world so GPS, data, camera mode (if enabled), and other requirements can definitely take their toll on a phone’s battery charge; ergo, a need for an extra battery or a power bank is highly probable.
Most likely your child will also ask you if he/she can purchase in-app items every once in a while. That’s another set of expenses.
Safety will always be a concern. There were cases wherein players were lured through the game by people with bad intentions. A lot of “close calls” were also reported, from simple trips to potentially serious incidents.
Now, given all the points above, no one can deny that the game is addictive and has good quality, proven by the sheer number of its players. There’s also a ton of things to learn or do within the game, aside from following its “Gotta catch ‘em all!” mantra.
Furthermore, it encourages your child to go out and explore in a way that’s appealing and fun for him/her. Places that were once uninteresting to him/her can suddenly become hotspots.
All that walking around can be a good exercise, too. Moreover, you may join in to turn game times into parent-child bonding sessions.
To sum things up, if you think you can handle the necessary expenses and effectively manage in-app purchase requests, then by all means let your child play the game. As for the safety issues, there are steps you can take to address each one.
Make sure that you or another trusted adult is with your child at all times while playing. Avoid hazardous, suspicious and dark places, no matter how rare a Pokémon might there be.
Let your child make friends, but be sure that you still guide them regarding strangers. Keep you and your child’s identities secure by steering clear of using your real names in the game, along with other personal info.
Most important of all, practice restraint and moderation. Remember to establish limits on play times and play areas.
Have fun and stay safe!
Exclusively written for MindMake