What if I told you there is a way to allow your kids to play video games without sitting inside on the couch all day? What if I ALSO told you that it would cost you absolutely nothing?! Playing a video game is no longer a couch potato hobby, if you’re playing Pokemon GO.
Pokemon GO is an augmented reality game that takes players outside in search of “real” Pokémon to catch. Using the camera and GPS features on your device, players hunt for Pokémon that are located throughout nearby cities and towns all across the US. When you find a Pokémon you want, all you have to do is swipe the Pokeball on your screen to throw it and catch them. By catching different types, you are able to level up yourself as a trainer, and eventually be able to challenge gyms.
For today’s kids, technology has become a seamless part of their everyday life. While parents are trying to get kids to put down their screens and go outside, this app gets kids off the couch and out in the real world. Just telling kids to go outside and play won’t always work. Many children need some sort of structure or something to do. Wouldn’t you rather them spend an hour outside searching for Pokémon than sitting on the couch on Snapchat or Facebook? Pokemon GO gets kids out of the house and promotes socialization. This app can be used as a tool to connect with other players and the world around them.
My Experience with Pokemon GO
I started playing this game a week after it launched, and already I’ve seen so many benefits from this game. So if you’re still on the edge about whether or not to let your kid play, here is my experience from actually playing the game myself. Here it goes.
I started walking more
When I first started playing Pokemon GO, I was frustrated that I couldn’t find many Pokémon from just sitting on the couch. I found myself walking around my own apartment to look for them, and eventually started spending my lunch breaks outside walking around and looking. To get in range of them, it requires you to get off your butt and start walking. I’m not athletic, and could probably stand to lose some weight, so I figured this would be a fun way to get my exercise in. In the last week alone, I’ve walked two miles every day on my lunch break and between 1-2 miles after work with the BF. In one day I could walk as much as 3 miles or more, which is great for my waistline. This is coming from someone who used to complain about just walking across the room to turn off a light!
I spent less time in front of the TV
Before I started playing this game, I found myself spending hours sitting on the couch binge watching Netflix. Now, there are some days where we don’t turn on the TV at all. One day while searching for Pokémon, we spent 3 hours outside! Previously, the most time we spent outside was maybe 30 minutes and it was from our front porch or a short walk to the mailbox.
We used less electricity
When you’re not indoors, you don’t need to lower the thermostat, leave lights on, turn on the TV, or a number of different electricity draining activities. This is great for your electricity bill and your health! When we stay indoors, we often have at least one set of lights on and the TV or computers on at a minimum. When we leave, both are shut off which is saving us money!
We got to enjoy a frugal activity together
As I mentioned earlier, this application is FREE! The only thing you need is an iOS or Android device. If you don’t have a data plan, you can go to coffee shops and college campuses for free wifi. You won’t catch as many this way, but you can still spend time walking around outdoors, and there are still a decent amount to catch in these areas. Last week, we went to a nearby college campus to walk around and play the game together. Since the college was close by, the cost to drive there was negligible. Warning for parents: there are in-app purchases available, so monitor your kids!