Tuesday, July 12, 2016

How to Use Pokémon Go to Strengthen Intergenerational Relationships

by Monique McIntyre

Pokémon Go has taken over. The game launched this past Thursday and is now one of the most downloaded apps ever. So, for those people like myself who know nothing about this universe and have not downloaded the app, here’s a quick breakdown of what it’s all about.

The game combines the popular Pokémon world with GPS. This allows fans (also known as trainers) to venture out into the real world and catch Pokémon, or pocket monsters, inside capsules called Pokéballs. Using a smartphone trainers scan their surrounding area to locate Pokémon and catch them by throwing the Pokéballs at them.

Okay, now that we’re all caught up, here is why even those of us who may not be interested in the game should take a second look. This app could be a big step to bringing the generations together.

Combined with Generations United Take Action Guide here are a few ways to make the most intergenerational use of Pokémon Go.

1. Stay Active. Although we love our technology, it doesn’t always translate to an active lifestyle. And by “doesn’t always,” I mean almost never. By making people walk this app can help change that. One of the hardest parts about starting an active lifestyle is the starting part. Trust me I should know. I’ve almost ran 3 miles 4 times this week. This app makes it fun and easy to get your exercise. Kids and older adults alike can use this app to get out of the house and start getting active.

2. Take a Tour of Your Town. What better way to explore your area and spend time together than by catching Pokémon and scoring Pokéballs. You can visit parks, churches, museums, local land marks and possibly discover a great new picnic area or hidden nature trail. During this time you can have important conversations, share memories, learn about each other and ultimately get closer.

3. Volunteer. Combine the use of the app with a great volunteer opportunity such as cleaning up your local park. Catch Squirtle (don’t worry I had to look it up too) while you are picking up litter or clearing paths. Level up on the game while leveling up the appearance of your neighborhood park. Sounds like a win-win to me.

4. Keep Each Other Safe. One of the major concerns with the new app is that it has the potential be dangerous. Reinforce with kids and adults that everyone should be safe and alert at all times. Some kids maybe out walking alone, and could venture off farther than they should. An easy way to solve this problem is to have someone go with them. Someone like a grandparent. Having a grandparent around means they can go farther and catch more all while staying safe.

5. Making Connections: Once you get started, you are bound to see other people playing Pokémon Go. Now’s the perfect time to strike up a conversation and build intergenerational connections in the community. Ask questions, share tips, or direct people to a nearby wild Pikachu (the yellow one J).

Let us know if you try Pokémon Go with your grandparents, grandkids, or grandfriends and which rare Pokémon you were able to catch!