It’s common knowledge that Pokémon Go is the latest craze to hit the ’yoof’ of today, but did you know it actually has a passionate (and growing) fan base amongst mums too?
To the uninitiated it might look as if a large chunk of the populace has been struck with a sudden inability to navigate around their local area unaided by Google Maps, or perhaps they’re involved in a really intense debate on Snapchat, but the truth is much more likely to be that they’re yet another Pokémon Go player. I won’t bother outlining the premise of the game here, there are plenty (more informed) places for you to read up on such things. I’ve only been playing it 24 hours after all.
I resisted downloading it for quite a while after I first heard about it, but curiosity finally won out and I justified it to myself with the thought that perhaps my 4 year old might get something out of it too. Little did I know that I was creating not one, but two monsters.
We love it so much that I had to set up a second account so there’s one he can catch Pokémon on without me twitching as he wastes pokeballs (although he actually has a good natural ability) and one I can level up and work on properly when he’s asleep or not paying attention!
I find it especially great after hours when I usually slump on the sofa in defeat at 8pm (see this post) but know I would feel better if I went for a solo walk. Having Pokémon to catch (and all the best lures and goodies are around in the evening. Presumably thanks to all the disaffected teens roaming the streets in the crepuscular hours like stray cats) is a really good incentive to leave the house.
As I mentioned earlier I am not the only middle-aged parent playing Pokémon Go, and mums and dads across the country are choosing to join, not beat, them. Some of the more sneaky of us have, like me, figured out ways to make the game work to our advantage – nothing gets a 4 year old away from the TV and upstairs to get dressed like shouting that there’s a Pidgey on their bed (whether it’s true or, eh hem, not). It’s even a great way to entertain them in traffic jams, as nothing causes excitement more than a Weedle suddenly appearing on the passenger seat next to Mummy “it’s in the actual car Mummy! It’s sitting right next to you!”… except possibly watching it dance on Mummy’s phone for the next 10 minutes.
Just in case I was an anomaly amongst my people I did a quick straw poll amongst my fellow parent bloggers and there was a pretty speedy rush to back me up – safe to say I’m not the only mum loitering near a lured-up Pokestop being suspiciously regarded by 17 year olds.
Here’s what they had to say
“I love Pokemon Go, my son (aged 19) has Aspergers and this amazing tech has brought him out of his bedroom, we go on walks, he goes out with friends every day, he even walked home with his sister from town one day so they could Pokemon hunt together and I can’t remember that ever happening before, this game has brought us all together as a family, it’s amazing, I love when tech brings about the good in life.”
“I love it and my husband is addicted to it, even though he took the mickey out of me . My 3 year old rolled a plastic golf ball towards the cat then said he ran out of Pokeballs!”
“I love it 🙂 my 3 yr old likes to try and catch them but loses more poke balls than catches pokemon. My boyfriend’s mum also had it as does my dad so not just for us young people!
“I am enjoying feeling young and talking about technology with my children even if it is just Pokemon Go. We love it and apart from it draining my phone battery it is great. I have spoken to so many people I do not know adults of all ages and those alien creatures called teenagers. Everyone is friendly and happy to help with advice on the game. Love that is is also getting people who do not normally venture out, to go out.”
“I downloaded it then deleted it as thought it would be poop. Then realised my OH downloaded so I reinstalled for a bit of healthy competition 😉. Gets us out the house and exploring new places more. The 4yo enjoys it too trying to catch the Pokemon (even if he does use loads of PokeBalls)”
“I LOVE it 🙊🙊 it’s so fun and gives me and my partner something to talk about other than home, work and babies!”
“My 6yo made me walk to the shops and back twice in half an hour. Apparently he needed to clock up 2 kilometres to hatch an egg or some such nonsense? Also discovered if you pretend you saw a Pokemon hide in your wheelie bin you can get them to take out the rubbish!”
“I’m a fan! Walked to Aldi so I could play, ended up spending £30. 🙈 oops.”
“For the first time in months my son asked to walk to school & didn’t moan! There’s so many people who love to bash it but if you don’t like it – don’t play it! It’s something we really enjoy doing when we are out & about & has kept him entertained in the holidays so a big win in my eyes!”
“I’m a Pokemon go fan.
I love the fact that it gets me out of the house and going on more walks plus it’s a great for keeping the kids entertain. Which means no more moaning that their tired every 5 steps.”
Nikki from Keepingstrongandmovingforward.co.uk
“We love it. We play it walking to school and do it whilst we are geocaching. It gets us out and about, discovering new places and it’s something my partner and son can bond over (both gaming geeks!)”
Not everybody is a fan, however….
“I don’t play it.” Says Nel, from NelC3. “I don’t really care about it to be honest. But, I have to say I am a little worried about the safety of players. When I go for my runs I see lots of people playing it. They have the tell tale signs that they are playing it (holding the phone at a certain angle, moving it around, then swiping to throw the ball things). But, the worrying thing is the amount of people I have seen crossing roads without looking (kids and adults). On a few occasions I’ve had to stop my run to ‘save’ a few people. It’s quite scary….and the bad thing is if they do get run over it will be the drivers fault. Not right.
There needs to be a safety feature added in.
This craze will be over by September. When it gets colder people won’t do it.
Let’s just look out for each other until then! 😊”
On the whole, though, it was a big thumbs up from the parents I spoke to, with more than one looking on the bright side…
“I’m a casual player 😂 my husband, on the other hand, loves it: because we live in the middle of nowhere, I suddenly find he’s offering to run errands or take the children out more…. Just so he can collect more pokeballs”
Whether it’s the social aspect, the way it gets us all out of the house or just the fact we’re roughly the right age for this to be the perfect blast from the past, there’s no doubt that it’s not just teenagers suffering from this summer’s hottest craze!
“I looovvveeee Pokémon Go! It was one of that games I had to download as soon as I heard I could. My love stems from.a childhood of watching it every morning before school and then swapping cards at school. Growing up I played the gameboy games and Oli, for the last several years, has followed suit. He’s been teaching his friends at school everything they need to know about pokémon. Me and my friends are getting quite competitive now with our pokemon collection and level gain. It’s so much fun and we do regular pokewalks together and battle at gyms!”