Since it’s July 6 release, the mobile game Pokémon Go has become more popular then Tinder, SnapChat, Twitter and other apps you don’t want your kid having anything to do with. So naturally you’d expect to hate Pokémon Go too, right? Well, you might be wrong for once. As The New York Times points out, it might be a great way to trick your kid into going outside.
If your kid isn’t already chasing Ivysaurs and Charmanders around the neighborhood, the gist of it is this: the game uses your phone’s camera to create a virtual reality overlay on reality reality, and drops Pokémon characters all over it. One father gave Pokémon Go credit for getting his 11 year old son to walk 30 miles in 3 days on a recent family vacation in Maine, and another mother said it got her 18 year old to bike 25 miles in 2 days in the heat and rain. Subversive exercise doesn’t seem to be the only advantage — Mashable reports that Pokémon Go is actually bringing families together. According to Twitter, it’s giving dads some great texting material too.
Still, parents have valid concerns like the privacy settings, kids not looking before they cross the street, and the issue of never getting your smartphone back from them. There’s also the possibility of child predators using the mapping technology to their advantage, and it’s already been used to rob people at gunpoint. So between that and the whole getting them outside, it looks like you should plan on playing some Pokémon Go for the next 6 weeks or — regardless of your opinion of the game. With you protecting them, the only thing you’ll have to worry about running into is a dead body