Pokémon GO Parent App Guide

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July 27, 2016

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What is the Pokémon GO App?

  • Pokémon GO is a location-based augmented-reality mobile game developed by Niantic (a former Google startup) for iOS and Android devices
  • This game bridges the gap between real life and a digital world, encouraging your kids to walk around and earn points
  • The game is free to play, although it supports in-app purchases of additional gameplay items
  • Pokémon GO rapidly topped the American iOS App Store's "Top Grossing" and "Free" charts. In its first week the game became the most downloaded app on the App Store of all time
  • Pokémon GO uses the phone’s camera to superimpose real-time graphics over real-world imagery and lets you interact with digital characters
  • The game encourages users to walk around the neighborhood as their phone creates a digital map that mirrors their physical location
  • Users go in search of “Poké Stops”—many of them places of cultural or historical interest, creating a new way to learn about your hometown or places you visit—and collect virtual items like “Poké balls”
  • Users throw “Poké balls” at the Pokémon on their screen to catch the creature
  • Users can drop lures to attract Pokémon (and sometimes attract other users, leading to safety issues)

Why should parents care?

  • Pokémon GO promotes real-world social play and physical exercise
  • However, there are dangers surrounding this app—including the ways it can be used by criminals to target victims
  • Players are walking around distracted and running into traffic
  • Playing Pokémon GO requires a lot of battery power, so you want to ensure your teen’s phone won’t run out of battery before they get home

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

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Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

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Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

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Educator Webinar Attendee

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This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

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Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
This app is not safe for students to use unsupervised, but a Green Zone app can serve a positive purpose to help a student to navigate social media and someday build an online brand. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Green Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Gray Zone apps often contain lots of private & disappearing messages, and strangers can use this to chat with students. Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe. This zone can be a great place for family time since many of these apps can be entertaining, and let your students express themselves. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Gray Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone.
Red Zone apps often have lots of anonymous features, adult content, and easy contact with strangers. Supervision is strongly suggested on each of these apps or move your kids to a safer zone. All apps require parental supervision, these apps more than others. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Red Zone or view our list of 100+ Apps to find a safer app with your student.
Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ app reviews at SmartSocial.com

This trend is categorized as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge.
Viral challenges encourage students to do dangerous things to garner likes, views, attention, and subscribers. These challenges can be found across several social networks and may encourage students to perform dangerous activities. SmartSocial.com keeps parents updated on these social media challenges before an incident may occur in your community.

Table of Contents

Parent & educator training video

Pokémon GO uses real locations

Pokémon Go rapidly became the most downloaded app on the App Store of all time.

Pokémon GO for iPhone and Android devices allows players to travel between the real and virtual worlds to discover Pokémon in a whole new world—your own! Pokémon GO is built on a real-world gaming platform and uses real locations to encourage players to search far and wide to discover Pokémon. Players can find and catch more than a hundred species of Pokémon while exploring their surroundings, a feature that's popular with parents who worry about their kids spending all summer inside playing video games. Instead, this is a game that promotes both exercise and social interaction (have you seen the packs of kids roaming the streets in search of virtual monsters?).

What is the Pokemon GO App?

  • Pokémon GO is a location-based augmented-reality mobile game developed by Niantic (a former Google startup) for iOS and Android devices
  • This game bridges the gap between real life and a digital world, encouraging your kids to walk around and earn points
  • The game is free to play, although it supports in-app purchases of additional gameplay items
  • Pokémon GO rapidly topped the American iOS App Store's "Top Grossing" and "Free" charts. In its first week the game became the most downloaded app on the App Store of all time
  • Pokémon GO uses the phone’s camera to superimpose real-time graphics over real-world imagery and lets you interact with digital characters
  • The game encourages users to walk around the neighborhood as their phone creates a digital map that mirrors their physical location
  • Users go in search of “Poké Stops”—many of them places of cultural or historical interest, creating a new way to learn about your hometown or places you visit—and collect virtual items like “Poké balls”
  • Users throw “Poké balls” at the Pokémon on their screen to catch the creature
  • Users can drop lures to attract Pokémon (and sometimes attract other users, leading to safety issues)

What does Pokémon GO marketing say?

Search far and wide for Pokémon and items
  • Now’s your chance to discover and capture the Pokémon around you—so get your shoes on, step outside, and explore
  • Search far and wide for Pokémon and items
  • Take on Gym battles and defend your Gym

Pokémon GO in the news

  • “Authorities are warning [Pokémon GO] could possibly bring your kids in contact with unsavory elements.” –NBC New York
  • “If you use [Pokémon GO] or have children that do we ask you to please use caution” –Missouri Police Department
  • “Keep location tracking on your kids' phones when they're out searching for Pokemon.” –FOX
  • “Police are concerned [Pokémon GO] could be the latest way online criminals attempt to target victims.” –iTV

Why should parents care?

Pokémon Go can be used by criminals to target victims
  • Pokémon GO promotes real-world social play and physical exercise
  • However, there are dangers surrounding this app—including the ways it can be used by criminals to target victims
  • Players are walking around distracted and running into traffic
  • Playing Pokémon GO requires a lot of battery power, so you want to ensure your teen’s phone won’t run out of battery before they get home

What can parents do?

Don't let your teen play Pokémon GO alone
  • Play as a family and find Pokémon together
  • Set limits on where and when your teen can play
  • Don’t let your teen play alone
  • Remind your teens to be aware of their surroundings
  • Teach your teens to never drive and use their smartphone
  • Remind your teen to respect private property
  • Tell your teen that they can contact you if they encounter anyone suspicious

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