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A parent's guide to Pokémon Go

Published on 15/07/16

Parent Info shares advice on how best to combat any potential dangers with Pokémon Go. 

In less than a week of its US release, Pokémon Go has become a gaming phenomenon – the augmented reality game can transform familiar surroundings into adventure playgrounds and its simple rules make it accessible for families to play together. But with reports of accidents, muggings and even the discovery of a dead body, we examine what parents can do to combat Pokémon danger. 

What is Pokémon Go?

A smartphone game featuring the infamous 90s characters that allows users to interact with the real world using the phone’s camera and GPS capabilities.

This collaboration between Nintendo and Niantic Labs also uses augmented technology to allows players to catch Pokémon in real life.

Players will see a map of their current location that is super-imposed with their character and all of the game elements.

As players move around, different types of Pokémon (rats, snakes dragons etc) will appear, depending on where they are and what time it is.

Indoors or outdoors?

The idea is to encourage users to travel around the real world to catch these ‘wild’ Pokémon in the game. Different types of Pokémon can be found in different types of terrain and some types are easier to find in certain geographical locations.

If players want to hatch an egg (to produce a rare Pokémon) then they will need to walk: each egg requires 2 to 5 km walk before it will hatch.

When a player reaches Level 5 they also have the opportunity to unleash their Pokémon on ‘gyms’ – normally located at real-life local places of interest – to do battle with other people’s Pokémon characters. The people need to be at or near the same real world location.