I see PokÃ©mon Go as a massive opportunity for keeping my kids busy over the Summer holidays! Read on to see how it's going to work...
Frustrated at your efforts to get the kids off their screens and out of the house? Fret no more, as Pokemon Go combines the two by getting them to traipse around the neighbourhood in search of strange, lovable creatures called PokÃ©mon. Once they've located one, chuck a Pokeball at it to capture it. Or something.
The neat thing is that the app uses augmented reality, which means that the PokÃ©mon appear on top of whatever is on the phone's rear-view camera.
Now, there's a safety question here, and one that child protection groups have been quick to raise: how to prevent your child from being lured to a "PokÃ©stop" (a special place where you can collect more Pokeballs and other items) that is unsuitable for children? The app has to consume mobile data, and there may be a high cost to that. You also need to be aware that in-app purchases are available, and a lot of money can easily be spent very quickly. Personal data (date of birth, email address and name) are also collected, which you may not be happy with.
My solution to this is simple: don't let them have Pokemon Go on their own devices. It's easy in my case as none of my kids' phones are good enough to install it! I've installed it on my phone, and the intention is to use it as an excuse for us to get out as a family during the summer holidays. Exactly how much the app incentivises us to do that remains to be seen, but I have high hopes!