A Parent’s Guide to Pokemon GO!

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Last night, as I was working on my laptop in the (supposed) safety of my bedroom, my 9-year-old whispered… “Mom! DON’T MOVE. There’s a Rattata beside you. In the corner….WOO! GOT him!”

 

 

 

 

A “what”??

I cautiously looked to my right, and was a little nervous of the fact that he was seeing something I clearly could not. He laughed, lifted up my phone and said “Mooo-oom, it’s just Pokemon Go!”  Right…of course. *silly me!*

Chances are you have had a similar experience in the last 72 hours or so, because the popular 1990’s trading card frenzy “Pokemon” recently launched a new game app called Pokemon Go, and it has literally taken over the world in a matter of days. People are walking around parks and neighborhoods with their phones drawn, all with the sole purpose of “hunting” imaginary creatures, and it’s catching on like fire.

WHAT IS IT?

Pokemon Go is a game app that uses your phone’s GPS and clock to detect where you are at any given time. It uses this information to make Pokemon “appear” around you (on the phone screen) and you can then “catch them”. The Pokemon are added to a list, and the goal is to catch as many as possible. The game motivates you to travel your neighborhood because you never know where one may be hiding!

WHAT ARE THE PROS?

Well, for one, it’s free. The app makes money by charging for extra add ons and boosters. They aren’t necessary to play the game though. Personally, I love that it gets my son outside and active! We walked two miles yesterday just hunting for Pokemon! It’s a great interactive game, that is getting kids and families outside more.

WHAT ARE THE CONS?

There has been speculation that people’s Google accounts are being accessed through the app, which would be a security issue. This is due to some blog posts made earlier last week that were purely speculative. The makers of Pokemon Go have released a statement to put users at ease:

“We recently discovered that the Pokémon Go account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user’s Google account. However, Pokémon Go only accesses basic Google profile information (specifically, your user ID and e-mail address) and no other Google account information is or has been accessed or collected. Once we became aware of this error, we began working on a client-side fix to request permission for only basic Google account information, in line with the data we actually access. Google has verified that no other information has been received or accessed by Pokémon Go or Niantic. Google will soon reduce Pokémon Go’s permission to only the basic profile data that Pokémon Go needs, and users do not need to take any actions themselves.”

So, parents can relax…using Pokemon Go is NOT a security risk at all. Have peace of mind, and go capture Pokemons to your heart’s content!

The only other con may be that it’s slightly addicting…parents are becoming just as hooked as their kids!

 

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