I have caught a CLEFAIRY, an ODDISH, a GOLDEEN, a ZUBAT and a DODRIO, just to name four of the approximately 150 characters in my Pokedex and only after joining the latest craze a few days ago.
I now know how to lure Pokemon to a Pokestop, how to transfer them to the Professor in exchange for candy and when I catch eggs I can incubate them while walking until they are ready to hatch.
I have yet to do battle at a Gym, get a bag or storage upgrades, so clearly I am not an expert.
But what I do believe is parents need to keep up to date with the latest technology and this is one we can benefit from.
Of course there is a catch. And I don’t mean the Pokeballs.
I have been there for the MSN phase. (Behind the 8-ball on this and still clueless)
I forbid Facebook unless my children were my friends. (Now they don’t have to be my mate and they all still are.)
I now am more active on Instagram than they are.
I took up Candy Crush and played Words With Friends. (I was still addicted when they dropped out and was able to smash WWF -online scrabble but with chat-as I had a more extensive vocabulary reach than my daughters so they didn’t last long on this platform.)
I can Snapchat but it’s not my favourite. (And sometimes you don’t want to know what your over 18 year old is up to.)
And now there’s Pokemon Go.
It sounds like I am a crazy craze bandwagon jumper, but I started with a small hop down this track years ago to keep across what my five daughters were doing online.
It’s a never-ending battle for parents to stay up to date with what their kids are exposed to
in the cyber world and never more so, as more and more are exposed to a greater range of technologies and digital media at younger and younger ages.
But of all the fads so far, this is one all parents should embrace.
It not only means your kids are out from behind the computer screens and laptops and outdoors but you can be too.
To play this game you have to move.
You can walk for kilometres and sometimes for hours, which in this morbidly obese society is a benefit that can’t be refuted.
It’s enormous fun.
I have been Pokemon hunting with two of my daughters and it’s hilarious. (Although mostly to them and any one else walking past who isn’t hunting).
Just picture this.
A middle-aged mum in a combat stance holding her phone in front of her trying to capture an animated pocket-sized monster, which has popped up in the real world, using animated snares on screen, her finger and years of experience in distance judgement as real-life weapons, and a teenage girl bent-over in laughter trying to issue instructions on how to aim at a VENONAT.
So regardless of the age of your child, if you allow them to take up Pokemon, shouldn’t you at the very least understand it?
For two reasons; to share an interest that can only benefit a relationship and to set boundaries to prevent problems.
As in all new crazes, there are poke-pitfalls. Some are very concerning.
There have already been news reports of people being seriously injured because they are hunting oblivious to their surrounds, either walking into obstacles or traffic and venturing into dark, isolated or dangerous areas.
The game chews through data and phone battery, so some out of control tele-bills may be an added pocket monster.
Setting guidelines like: how long they can play, where they can go, who with and at what times are considerations.
Another catch, of course there’s a cost coming.
Currently in this early phase of the craze you can earn all your arsenal by walking, collecting items like potions, poke balls and eggs to catch Pokemon.
But just like all the fads that have gone before, you can purchase (with real not animated money) weapons to increase your combat power.
Starting at $1.49 you can lure rare, legendary Pokemon to your Pokestop.
And while I am in the market for a MEW I am going to save my money and instead concentrate on getting my combat stance correct, walking for health and spending time with my kids who have chosen to hunt.
Also it’s fun.
Got to fly another poisonous ZUBAT (weight 7.5kg, height 0.8m) has just appeared.