Screen Free Time with Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go, what a sensation! If you have no idea what I am referring to, it’s the new game that allows its players to travel between the real world and the virtual world of Pokémon. I see it as the first game that is actually getting kids active (and not just their fingers). Why? Because they can’t help it but leave the house to find Pokémons.

Since it came out everyone is talking about it, everyone is trying it and has something to say. CNN reported on the danger of playing the game. On the other hand, this game gets the kids out of the house and active.

Thanks @morganhhart / twitter!

Yes, you may expect some danger to arise while hunting Pokémon. Getting into strange places, walking without being aware of your surroundings, and the ‘stranger danger’. We warn our kids about not talking to [real] strangers, not giving your information to [virtual] strangers on the internet. Yet, this Pokémon game lets us meet those strangers with a legitimate excuse.

But assuming us parents set limits on where they can go, the time of day, and even better - join them in their quest - I think it’s a great activity and a good game.

Yes, with getScreen we keep saying we need to manage the kids’ screen time and get them doing something else. There are activities that qualify as good screen time, for example learning to play an instrument, doing math challenges, and I believe Pokémon Go falls within this category as well.

I went with my 13 years old son to experience this phenomenon myself. The two and a half hours we were walking in town went by so quickly. We walked over two miles, took cool pictures with the Pokémons we found, and surprisingly enough, socialized with people in town that were on the same quest. Who would have thought the couple with the two and a half year old son, the local policeman, and the 3 high school senior girls will even speak with us, but we were cool (well mostly him), as we knew what to do and where to go. My son and I bonded, talked! Something you will not see us (& people) do often.

We used our common sense in terms of where to go, “looked up” and observed our surroundings (well, more me than him), and had a blast!

For the non-Pokémon fans that have no clue of this world and wish to take this as a bonding “screen free” opportunity, here is a useful article from Forbes.

Go Pokémon hunting, it’s fun!

@TaliOrad