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Pokémon Go Fever is Sweeping the Nation

Pokémon Go Fever is Sweeping the Nation


Pokémon is all the rage once again, with fans of the original game that was popular in the 90s getting the chance to enter the world with Pokémon Go, according to Vox.com.

Pokémon Go is a free app for Android and iOS customers that uses your phone’s GPS and clock to detect where and when you are in the game and make Pokémon “appear” around you (on your phone screen) so you can go and catch them. As you move around, different and more types of Pokémon will appear depending on where you are and what time it is.

With an upward flick of a finger or thumb, the Pokémon Go player attempts to capture these creatures with Pokéballs. Repeated captures of the same type of creature yield candies. Force-feeding enough candies to a Pokémon causes it to grow in power. Powerful creatures battle at gyms, which are digital arenas located at real points of interest.

“We’re excited that Pokémon fans and gamers can now start exploring their very own neighborhoods and cities to capture Pokémon using the Pokémon Go app,” developer Niantic Labs wrote in a news release. “Players can discover and catch more than 100 Pokémon from the original Red and Blue games.”

The game is loosely based on the original handheld games, but there is more detail and interaction. For example, if you go out to a park, you’ll probably see more grass- or bug-type Pokémon. If you go near a lake or ocean, you’ll be able to pick up more water types. And if you go out at night, you'll see more nocturnal fairy and ghost types.

But while the game is fun, it has led to some issues, including a string of recent robberies in Missouri where four suspects used the game to lure victims into certain areas. In addition, there is a report of a woman from Wyoming who discovered a dead body while outside playing the game.

And although people can’t compete or trade Pokemons with one another, that hasn’t stopped people from getting competitive over the game. Players can potentially run into each other in the real world while they’re competing for a portal in the game, leading to some real-life arguments. 



But for the most part, people are enjoying their entry into the world of Pokémon. In fact, 24 hours after its release in the US, Pokémon Go had been installed on more Android phones than the dating app Tinder, according to analysts at SimilarWeb. Users spent an average of 43 minutes a day playing — much longer than the average time spent using Twitter, for instance. So this craze isn’t going away anytime soon.

Parents, here are the benefits and the dangers of your kids playing Pokémon Go.

Benefits:

  • Gets kids active. Children will love taking walks searching for new Pokémons to catch.
  • Car rides aren't so boring. Kids in the backseat will be distracted by the game, which makes it easier for parents to get around town or take longer car trips.
  • There is some learning involved. Usually the Poke Stops are at important landmarks, so why not teach your kids a thing or two while they're there.


Dangers:

  • Look where you are going. Make sure that your kid is still aware of his surroundings and not too distracted that he forgets to look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Kids who are engaged in the game may also be easy targets for getting robbed or lured into another dangerous situation. Please be careful.
  • Parents, watch your wallet. If you're not on an unlimited data plan, you may want to reconsider how often you let your kids play the game. Also, beware of in-app purchases, they can cost you a pretty penny.


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Author: Linda DiProperzio has written extensively on parenting issues for Parents, American Baby, Parenting, and Family Circle, among others. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons. See More

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