August 08, 2016
POKEMON GO is an enjoyable GPS mobile walking game based on Nintendo's hit Pokemon franchise that uses Niantic's Ingress game engine.
Some parents have had a negative reaction towards this game because it can get very addicting for kids (plus the older generation doesn't really understand it). But it's actually an innovative mobile gaming experience that puts a premium on exercise.
So instead of ignoring it, why not use this opportunity to have a fun bonding session with your kids?
Here are 10 tips and reasons why parents should try PoGo Hunting...
1. It's a Global (Never Ending) Game
Pokestops and Pokegyms are based on Ingress' Portals, which are notable landmarks, artworks, religious centers, and water tanks on a global basis.
When I played it in Stockholm and around Spain it gave me a good idea of where the notable points of interest were. It can be a great tourism tool if used with the proper images and descriptions of the different landmarks.
In Manila, it's a great game to play when you're stuck in traffic because you can hunt Pokemon, spin Pokestops, or battle in the Pokegyms on the road.
2. The Value of Leveling Up
I've been playing for a month now and am currently at Level 20. I've been leisurely enjoying it during waiting time or travel to and from places.
Some can get to Level 20 in 3 days by mass evolving their Pokemon and hunting new ones with the Lucky Egg activated.
It's a great tool to build that sense of achievement in your kids through your own mentoring and guidance.
3. Choose Wisely (Decision Making Skills)
You can even teach your kids how to decide for themselves with this game. When you reach Level 5, you are forced to choose among three teams: Valor, Mystic, and Instinct.
It's a good opportunity to guide them on which teams resonate with their personality because they'll be part of that team forever.
I strategically choose Team Valor because they are the most dominant and the strongest. My sons choose Team Instinct because Aidan likes Zapados (Electric Legendary Bird) and Joshua likes it because of DanTDM (The Diamond Minecart).
4. The Value of Patience in Training and Evolving Pokemon
It takes time to evolve from Pidgey (Tiny Bird Pokemon) to a Pidgeotto (Bird Pokemon) and finally into a Pidgeot (Bird Flying Pokemon).
There are strategies involved in evolving your Pokemon to their highest combat power level. I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning. You can catch all the Pidgeys and Ratatas coming your way to learn more about how to evolve a Pokemon properly.
This is why each player is called a Pokemon Trainer and why the best ones win.
5. Hunt these Powerful Pokemon Together
Dratini, Evee, and Bulbasaur are a few of the most powerful Pokemon when evolved and you need to be at a higher level to be able to do so.
The Magikarp looks pathetic at the start until you collect 400 Magikarp candies and evolve it into Gyarados.
You have to really walk around and cover more territory to be able to hunt for these. Your kids would love to go around the different places in the Metro and you'll never have to hear "are we there yet?" ever again.
6. Set PoGo Hunting Sessions and Boundaries (when to and not to play)
We love playing Pokemon Go when in transit from the home to school or to a restaurant. I've also been able to easily convince the kids to walk around the neighborhood to exercise and catch Pokemon.
But we made it clear that there will be no playing in school ("No Gaming Policy") and only after the homework is done during weekdays. There's also no playing at the dinner table and during family discussions. Limit PoGo Hunting sessions for 30 mins to 1 hour.
Make sure to always pay attention to where you are going especially when crossing a street. And don't trespass while playing. You have to play with your kids and not let them play on their own.
7. Be careful about Restaurants and Establishments with Lure Modules
More and more establishments are taking advantage of Pokemon Fever in Manila, especially restaurants and establishments with a high concentration of Pokestops and Pokegyms. You'll see Pokestops with lure modules (hearts around the Poke Stops) to attract Pokemons and all the trainers to that place.
These locations are permanent, so be carefull about bad elements lurking around the area. As a parent, you need to know where these are so that you can protect your kids properly.
Know where they are located starting with the ones in your neighborhood, in school, in the mall, and in your favorite places.
8. Competing and Winning in the Pokegyms
The Pokegyms are very competitive and the idea is to beat other Pokemon from the other teams controlling the gym.
One great thing about this game is that you can level up on your pace and once you are strong enough, you can battle the Pokemon in the gym.
It is all about strategy and there's a community for each team. Since they're kids, you can represent them and join the Team's Community, which is usually a secret group chat via the Telegram App. If you are from Team Valor, I can help you and you can join our team's chat.
9. Don't waste too much money on this!
This was the advice of my son and a reminder not to waste too much money buying the Pokemon items from the shop.
You can use these Pokemon Go items as incentives or rewards for good behavior starting with the Egg Incubator or the Incense, Lure modules, or the Lucky Eggs. The current exchange rate is 1 Pokecoin is equivalent to 10 cents USD.
Good thing is if you have a Pokemon stationed in a gym for 21 hours, you earn 10 Pokecoins. Imagine you earn money each day for training a strong Pokemon.
10. Have fun and take photos with your cute Pokemon
The best feature of the game is the Augmented Reality where you can catch Pokemon as if part of your own surroundings. Right now, they are just posing for the cameras but hopefully in the future they can interact with you.
Do note that it drains your battery quickly and it can be distracting. I only activate the AR when there's a cute or powerful Pokemon in a nice location.
Here's a picture of Doduo in a Stockholm garden and Slowbro with the boys caught inside the car along the highway.
Happy PoGo hunting and enjoy the bonding session with the family!
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: We paid for our pokeballs, lucky eggs, incense, lure modules, and egg incubators. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. Play Niantic's other walking game called INGRESS. This never ending capture the blue/green flag game is now on its 4th year! Go Enlightened!