I never thought that I would admit that a new gaming App would make me a happier parent and especially decrease the conflicts between me and my youngest child. Well, the new Pokémon Go app has revolutionised my relationship with my youngest- just in time for the summer holidays. The transformation has been so positive since he downloaded the App. He downloaded it on the day it was launched in the UK last week. Since then he has spontaneously asked if we can go out for walks and even agreed to go out shopping to buy some trainers at a normally avoided large shopping center. I had tried all manner of 'carrots and sticks' to get him out of the house and become more active but now the tables have turned and he is thinking up outings. I am taking full advantage of this new found enthusiasm, getting him shopping and planning a London sight-seeing tour too. There is no time to waste as who knows what window of opportunity I have?
I asked him which Pokémon F word I could use to link in with my blog as I needed to share my enthusing about the joys Pokémon Go has brought to our family. He chose Fearow as he has managed to catch three already and it has only been a week. . Fearow is recognized by its long neck and elongated beak, conveniently shaped for catching prey in soil or water. Fearow uses its great wings to catch air currents to effortlessly glide over large distances for as long as a day without having to land or rest. It flies high into the sky, and swoops down at its prey. By using a combination of its neck and beak, it has a long reach, allowing it to pluck bugs from the ground or easily pluck prey from soil or water. If it senses danger, it avoids it if possible. My son knows these details and those of many of the other beasts. It is a shame they are fictitious beasts as I would imagine my son would be heading for good grades in his Biology exams otherwise.
My son hasn't hatched a Fearow egg yet but has managed to hatch a Gigglypuff by walking 5 km around the large shopping center, without a single complaint! He has been transformed from an inside computer gamer to a child who will now explore the outside and is willing to walk several kilometres to hatch a 'virtual egg'.
It might seem crazy but I was one of those mums who was happy when their kids were addicted to Minecraft because what is there not to like about 'virtual Lego' and all the educational benefits it offered in the form of play. Now, I am happy that he is getting more exercise thanks to Pokemon Go, although cautious about concerns about kids being a target to unsavoury types.
I must say I did find it a bit odd walking though a park on the first day that the Pokémon Go craze hit the UK, seeing lots of adolescent boys who would otherwise be at home behind a screen walking around following their phones. It looked like something from a Dr Who episode and a zombie attack!
Exploring the virtual Pokémon world
I have found it fascinating delving into my son's world of Pokémon Go and valuing the trips we have made in search of new species . I think it is important to have an understanding and take an interest in the new cultures that come and go in the world of our children. Besides, I have found a lot of enjoyment too in having the opportunity to join some of their games. They are a lot more sophisticated than those of my childhood. I don't think I will ever grow too old to try new games and play alongside the youngest in the family.
It is the 20th Anniversary of the Pokémon franchise, which started life as a Game Boy game. There are now at least 722 unique but fictional Pokémon species. The idea is to collect them, train them and evolve them into their next form. They are also trained for battles. When my eldest was at school the biggest craze was collecting and trading Pokémon cards and he was an avid player on Game Boy too. There was even a ban placed on cards being taken to the school due to the obsession. How things have changed in a relatively short space of time. It is all about the 'virtual world' now!
FUN POKEMON FACT: The roots for the 'augmented realitly game' Pokémon Go may have been in a Google April Fool's joke in 2014!
It has taken the world by storm-So who is laughing now?
and ...I'm laughing too...
Pokémon Go and Fearow take flight
Delights of Pokémon species