Friday, July 22, 2016

The Need to Catch 'em All, Pokemon!

To my recollection, the craze started with the cards.

My first son was a preschooler (that's been about twenty  years ago!) when the Pokemon card craze hit him.

Then came the figurines, stuffed animals, video games, posters, and movies. At one time, my four boys' bedroom was a Pokemon den from sheets to windows.

They were true Pokemon nuts!

But as time went on, the figurines went into storage, the cards lay idle in the game cabinet, and their room got revamped to blue and gold and half-naked ladies.

I missed you, Pikachu!!

Then, this summer, like a refreshing wind on a hot summer day, Pokemon was back.

Pokemon Go.

Have you heard of it?

It's a new video game app for hand-held devices. Kids run around neighborhoods "catching" Pokemon, joining teams, and battling other Pokemasters.

Every single one of my boys are back to Pokemon crazy.

My youngest son goes out so long, he takes a battery back-up for his phone.

It's surreal. It's like these video game/internet addicted guys have morphed into pre-80's kids- unplugged (well, with the exception of a smart phone and in my son's case, a portable car charger with an AC plug-in) and outside moving around.

Personally, I don't see the harm. I saw a few posts on Facebook where people were complaining about the new mania, but mostly the posts were fun.

Like this:

But, wanting to be a well-informed parent, I decided I'd go with my guys a day and see what the fuss/fun was all about. Five hours and several miles later, I decided this was one of the best inventions since Twister for active fun.

But they don't call me Momma Kill Joy for nothing, so here is the list of rules I came up with after my day of Pokemon collecting:

1. Never catch Pokemon while driving. Only if you're the passenger can you feel free to catch'em all.
2. Be mindful of traffic. A Poke Ball will not save you from a collision with a bumper.
3. Only trample the grass of neighbors whom you know will tolerate you trespassing.
4. Be respectful. Even if it's a rare Ponyta that is hanging out in a busy funeral home parking lot, stay out! That's an inappropriate place to add to the collection.
5. This one isn't so much for my kids, who are all over 16, but for younger kids...

Parents, be very cautious. In the game, players can set out lures to draw in Pokemon. All the other players in the area can see the lures, so they can physically go to these spots where Pokemon will gather. Me being the cautious (possibly paranoid) mom that I am, can see a situation where pedophiles could set out lures that could bring in small, unchaperoned kids. My kids called me crazy, but I can see this happening as adult players and child players intermingle.

That's what I came up with. Anyone else have any suggestions for keeping an awesome game from becoming a problem?


  1. I don't really understand what it's about Liz. What exactly are they doing? I do so agree with you about the lures from pedophiles.

    1. They run around with their phones which have a map loaded onto them of the actual town they are in and it shows where Pokemon are located that they can catch. It's become quite fun a they battle friends to keep Pokemon gyms that they try to hold in team efforts. I suppose it works with something like Google maps, because it knows what streets they are on and what landmarks are near them.

      I feel a little safer about the playing. There are so many people at these stops where the lures are set- the trend is definitely growing. But I still wouldn't let my young child play alone. A friend of mine goes with her young daughter and has caught the bug herself- now they share the Pokemon account.

  2. Some of our granddaughters were into collecting the cards, but as far as I know, none of them have gotten into the Go craze. Your rules for participation sound reasonable to me, but I'm an admitted old poop.

    The funniest thing I've seen about the Go game is a video a friend posted on my FB page, explaining the game in "terms women would understand." It shows women chasing after wine.

    1. That is a great equivalent! I have Find and Save on my phone and it works somewhat like the Pokemon Go game. When I drive by a store that is offering a deal, my phone chimes. Technology. It's a wonderful thing (nuisance?)


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