Friday, July 22, 2016
The Need to Catch 'em All, Pokemon!
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.
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.
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?