Notes on News: Notta catch em all – The parent problem with Pokemon Go

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We want to be the very best, like no one ever was; but there seems to be a problem growing within the older generation. The new Pokemon Go app is taking the world by storm, but there appears to be an obvious gap between those born in the late 80s and throughout the 90s, to those who grew up without the Pocket Monsters that we fell in love with.

To catch them was our real test, to train them was our cause; and it’s resurfaced this summer. Pokemon Go has allowed those of us who used to wander aimlessly around our neighbourhoods and playgrounds catching all kinds of Pokemon with our imaginations to actually carry them around in our pockets and see them augmented into our environment.

So what’s the problem? It’s an issue that has plagued the Pokemon craze since Nintendo released Red and Green on our Gameboys in the late 90s. With every craze comes the parents that more often than not don’t understand what all the hype is about. I remember this problem in the early 2000s reaching the playground at my primary school, where apparently our trading of Pokemon cards was classed as gambling and eventually banned. But when we got home at the end of the school day, all we had to deal with was our parent’s perplexed faces as we tried to teach them the ins and outs of the Pokedex, our Gameboys (and eventually Nintendo DSes), and trading cards.

But with Pokemon Go, we can now travel across the land and search far and wide, each Pokemon to understand the critical points that are inside. Walking so much that our feet and legs are now bearing the brunt of our journeys to become the Pokemon master. Which is such a good thing, I’ve never seen something so successfully get so many people outside. Obviously, people went outside before Pokemon Go, but in a lot of cases rather begrudgingly. With features such as having to walk 2km, 5km or 10km to hatch eggs, finding PokeStops around your neighbourhood and surrounding towns and cities, and battling at gyms – Pokemon Go gets people outside to play their favourite game rather than sitting indoors and playing it on their consoles.

Of course, with every game comes criticism and in some cases, scaremongering. Pokemon Go hasn’t officially been released in the UK as of yet, but people have managed to change the location on their phones to the countries that have had an official release: North America, Australia and New Zealand. There have already been a number of crimes and related cases in North America from the app, from robbers using PokeStops to lure victims and one woman finding a corpse under a bridge. There’s also the issue of people not looking where they’re going when playing the game; falling into ditches, falling off skateboards, and walking into trees and lampposts. From that, British tabloids have already begun to scaremonger parents, and adults of the dangers of the app, which could dissuade them from wanting their kids to use it.

For an app that has so many positives – and an app that has been out for less than a week – can’t we just focus on the good that it is providing instead of the negative? Pokemon Go is something we dreamed of in the 90s, and now we get to finally the live the (somewhat augmented) reality.

Watch the struggles of all Pokemon Go fans alike below.

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A film student stuck in a 90s timewarp of FBI agents, UFOs, conspiracy theories, alternative rock and grunge.

2 Comments

  1. avatar

    I see the parent problem as this. My father has never played Pokémon until now. He just spent 3 minutes of a conference call promoting the app to his work colleagues. He went to the park at 10pm last night to find Pokémon. He’s hooked. Help

    • avatar
      Robert Pratley on

      I think it depends how open parents are to the idea. I can imagine parents with younger kids being the more concerned.

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