Parent’s Guide to Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO is a new mobile game. You have probably heard of it. It has had phenomenal success.

Satoshi Tajiri created the original Pokémon game in 1995. Bug collecting was the inspiration. Players collect the Pokémon, and train them by battling other Pokémon. (Pokémon is short for “Pocket Monsters”). The premise of Pokémon GO of the game is no different: Gotta catch ’em all. What is new is how players perform the collecting and battling.

In Pokémon GO players need to get outside, move around, and go to new places. The game map is a map of the real world. As you move through the real world you move through the game world. There are 3 big reasons to get outside and move. First to catch Pokémon, second for Pokéstops, and third for Gym battles.

The game gives you information about what types of Pokémon are nearby. As you move around you get closer or farther away from them. Once you get close enough you can battle one and catch it.

The second reason to get outside is for Pokéstops. These show up on the map as blue cube shaped beacons. You travel to a Pokéstop and it rewards you with in-game loot. Things like Pokéballs (monster traps), eggs, and incense (to attract Pokémon to you).

The third major game element on the map is Pokémon Gyms. The Gyms look like floating pedestals. Players go there to battle the Pokémon left there by other players. To battle at a Pokémon Gym you must reach Level 5. When you reach Level 5 you can join one of three Pokémon teams. If a you win the Gym battle your team now controls the Gym. Other players in your team can contribute their Pokémon to defend the Gym.

Watching and helping my kids play Pokémon GO has been pretty fun. The summer release of Pokémon GO has been great for most of the country. Families are going on walks together, running into other families. Here in Arizona we can’t wait for winter to play for longer than 3 minutes without sweating.

Pokémon GO

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