The 5 best and worse things about Pokemon Go

13669801_1045145285569561_3855029823309546910_nHaving a 4-year old daughter has, inevitably, led to our family becoming Pokemon Go fans.  We play on our walks to and from school, go “Pokemon hunting” with the dogs in the evenings, and generally just have a ton of fun with the game.

From my perspective, there are some outstanding aspects of the game but, there are also a few things that make me want to throw my phone across the room! I believe the good outweighs the bad, which is why we still play and why I think all dog owners/parents should give the game a go(see what I did there?? :P)

The Good

5. Learning-There are aspects of the game that teach our little one various concepts that are giving her a fantastic head start.  Things like why we save certain Pokemon candy instead of evolving lower ones.  Also, teaching her how to tell if a Pokemon is strong by how many numbers(CP) it has and how far along the arc any particular Pokemon falls. Those are just a few of the things that she is learning by playing and she has a blast while doing it.  Win, win

4. Meeting People-Because we are out and about all the time, we encounter many different people along the way.  I am able to teach her how to use good manners when introducing herself, to say thank you when she gets a compliment, etc.  It is a wonderful bridge to developing her social skills under the umbrella of “play”.

3.Bonding-As we scour the neighborhood for these critters, we play games, talk, learned to ride her bike, see wildlife, etc.  While we are technically playing the game, there is plenty of time between “events” to bond.

2.Laughter-We laugh a lot anyway, but being engaged in an activity that we are doing together allows for much more goofiness and shenanigans than we would otherwise get into.  This goes along with bonding, but it deserves its own ranking because being happy is integral to having a healthy, well-adjusted kid in my opinion.13645295_1044585828958840_4919398721249697642_n

Number one

The exercise-I had a look at our total distance walked so far and we just crossed 75-miles together!  It’s hard to properly convey how proud I am of that achievement.  She is strong and her fitness level is amazing for being 4-years old.  I couldn’t imagine a better way to get her up and out of the house.  Even when she is tired or doesn’t feel like doing anything, a suggestion of “Pokemon hunting” is like an injection of adrenaline in her tiny body.  She is up, shoes on, chomping at the bit to get going before I’m even out of the chair!

With the epidemic of childhood obesity being as serious as it is, I believe that Pokemon Go is almost a must for kids of all ages to get fit and healthy

The Bad

5. Distribution of stops/gyms-This part of the game is rather frustrating.  We live in a residential neighborhood that doesn’t have too much “stuff” around in the way of businesses, churches, etc, so it is a long walk/run/bike to pokestops and gyms.  This will tie into some other problems I see with the game below.

4.Too many duplicate Pokemon-If you have played the game at all, ratatas and pidgeys are the bane of your existence.  I would have given up long ago if not for the little lady’s unadulterated exuberance no matter what type of Pokemon we find.

3. Stingy pokestops-This ties in with number 5.  Having to hike over a mile to get a stop that gives a few balls/potions every few minutes is rough.  After visiting a touristy part of town over the weekend, I can see why this is.  There were over a dozen stops all within a few yards of one another.  I would like to see something implemented that helps out players(and more importantly, their parents) who live in places that are less dense.

2.GPS system-The tracking system for buddies and egg hatching is woefully inaccurate.  This is rather annoying when trying to work towards a goal that you expect to take a certain amount of walking and the distance is not tallied correctly.

The beautiful scenery on our walks.
The beautiful scenery on our walks.

 

Number one

Pokemon GO is precariously close to becoming a P2W or pay to win, type of game.  This means exactly what it sounds like, for players that reach high levels the game becomes a stupefying exercise in patience as 5-10 pokeballs are required to catch common and rare Pokemon alike.  Combined with the lack of compensation at pokestops, this problem quickly depletes pokeballs.  So the only option left to those of us who don’t live near clustered pokestops is to purchase balls with real money.  The prices at the shop aren’t bank breaking, with 200 pokeballs at 800 coins and 1200 coins for 10.00, but 200 balls last for less than a couple days when the game is played often(we walk to school and back every day to the tune of about 2 miles).  I’m hoping that some of these pay to win issues will be addressed with future game updates but until then, we have started passing over the more common spawns in order to conserve our stash and ability to play.

Still a great idea

Anyone with dogs or children should definitely give Pokemon GO a shot.  Just the fact that it gets us out of the house and enjoying what the outside world has to offer is enough of a benefit for me.  But the game is also enjoyable, gives us something to do on otherwise monotonous daily walks, and keeps us in pretty good shape for sure!