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What is ‘Pokemon Go,’ What Parents Need to Know

Pokemon Go screenshot
Pokemon Go screenshot

Pokemon Go is a new app that, in less than a week of it’s release, has become a global phenomenon. This app is a little different than most as it requires the player to get up and travel to different locations in order to keep playing the game. Once the player reaches their destination, a Pokemon character is “imposed” next to you – or in a nearby landmark – and you’ve completed that task.

The popular app has had a definite impact in Sioux Falls as it was hard to miss those involved in the game during the Hot Harley Nights weekend downtown. Players were finding the “Pokestops” at Falls Park, sculpture walk, and nearby church steps.

But, according to Consumer Reports, there are a few things parents should know:

  • While the app is free to download, there are in-app purchases – and they can cost up to $99.99. And yes, that would be real money.
  • The game will send people to some of the same locations throughout your area making it easier for a stranger to strike up a conversation.
  • The app collects personal data and location tracking.

Players use the hashtag #CatchEmAll when you’ve found one characters in the game and would like to post your findings on social media. There are currently 151 original Pokemon characters in the game, but the developer, Niantic promises more to come.

While it does have risks (like roaming the world with your face in your smartphone oblivious to important things like traffic) it does provide players with one advantage: getting up and moving in the great outdoors. And that’s something XBox and Playstation can’t do.

Finally, before setting off into the world to find these virtual reality characters, I found this little guy hanging out on one of our sofas.

Pokemon Go!
Pokemon Go!

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