By now, you have probably heard of the hugely popular app, Pokemon Go. It has taken over society from children to adults and made zombies out of the masses. What exactly is it, you ask? It is a new kind of game called ‘augmented reality.’
Players are in search of imaginary creatures called Pokemon (short for ‘Pocket Monsters’) that they only see by looking at the real world through their smartphone. Players can even compete against other players in battles at a virtual Pokemon Gym.
At first glance, the game seems harmless and, for the most part, it really is. But I decided to look into our crystal ball to see what kind of effects this game may have on our children in the future. Read on to find out what we saw…
1. Players will not be content to sit on the couch for regular gaming anymore
This is a change we will happily accept. After getting used to pursuing monsters in the ‘real world’ and taking in nature, why would anyone want to go back? The downside? All that money spent on gaming systems and games will ultimately go to waste!
2. Pokemon alumni will be social butterflies
One of the beautiful things about this game is that players interact with each other in real life as they all congregate at popular Pokemon stops. People of different ages and backgrounds are meeting one another and finding out they have more in common than they thought. I think that is a wonderful side-effect for kids.
3. Players will be lost in the Pokemon world
A negative thing about this game is that players get intensely wrapped up in the augmented reality and have a tendency to lose sight of reality. Some players have trespassed to catch a rare Pokemon, others have walked into walls or traffic. Players may have a hard time readjusting to life after Pokemon and lose some respect for boundaries.
4. They will be lifelong data consumers
This game is a major data sucker. Parents are complaining about astronomical data usage charges resulting from hours of play. Players may never be able to reign their usage back to normal levels after falling in love with the little monsters they spent hours catching. Better upgrade that data package now.
5. Children will be closer to their family
Here is the clincher and why many parents have chosen to accept Pokemon Go as a good thing. Families are playing the game together. We see moms and dads running around with the very same children that were too cool for them last week. Moments like these bond families together for a lifetime and help foster more experiences as a unit.
So, is Pokemon Go good or bad? Ultimately, it is up to you to decide. I think that like anything else, as long as you give your children limits and place boundaries for the game, Pokemon Go just may have lasting effects that are far more positive than anything else. Happy hunting, players!