Why I Don't Let My Kids Play Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go EXPLODED! It has over 9 million users already! Honestly I can see why. If you’re not familiar with the game, it’s a mix of geocaching and traditional Pokemon games. It’s a really neat idea and this type of game is considered augmented reality.
Pokemon Go used to lure children?
Upon hearing about the game my very first thought was “pedophiles can use this to lure kids.” Dramatic? Maybe. Honestly, my brain always goes there first because of my own childhood. Not wanting to share too much detail, let’s just say at a young age I learned adults can be monsters and don’t always look out for the best interest of children.
I’m not alone in thinking this. Fearful of where this could lead, one woman carried out an ‘experiment’, which saw her post a ‘lure’ to see how many people turned up. Within moments, several children had arrived at the chosen location – most without parents – having ignored their usual ‘stranger danger’ radar in pursuit of the monster.
Did you read that? Children showed up to a chosen location, WITHOUT PARENTS.
‘There’s a sense of camaraderie that is built up around this game. The kid I just played with definitely lost his stranger danger sense’, the user known as Robin wrote.
You should understand, one element of the game sees users putting a ‘lure’ on a certain area, which causes Pokemon to appear in that position, attracting gamers to the area. I see many eye rolls and can hear “it’s just a game”, but here is the truth. People are not always good even though we like to pretend that they are. Human trafficking exists and is very real. Human trafficking takes place in all 50 states and it is a highly lucrative trade. There are high profits and it is low risk. In fact, in my state, Michigan, it ranks No. 2 in the country for human trafficking in the sex trade. The top state in my country is Nevada. Two of the things that make Michigan a primary spot for trafficking is our close proximity to Canada and our waterways. They help make the exploitation of vulnerable persons in this state a lucrative business.
Bad stuff DOES happen here, in our country, in our state, to people we know.
Am I against the game all together? Not at all. I just see too many parents willing to let their children download the FREE app and play the game (because it’s just another game right?) without fully understanding the risks. The game can be fun and children should be able to enjoy it. However, as a parent, it’s your job to acknowledge the risks and protect your children. Play the game as a family, teach your children safety, and always look out for creepers.