Pokémon GO is the latest craze and people around the world are hooked including South African kids. “But,” says Theunis Kotze, General Manager of ADT Inland Region, “as with all games, parents need to be educated and interacting with their children so their safety is not compromised.”
Pokémon GO uses the phone’s GPS and clock to detect where and when the user is in the game and makes Pokémon appear virtually so the user can go and catch them. While the game is not yet available on the South African iTunes store many have bypassed iTunes terms and conditions and are playing. “What parents need to know is that the game has the potential to take children into areas that are possibly not safe,” says Kotze. “The virtual Pokémon appear on school campuses, at malls, churches, on roads, near water, in buildings, basically anywhere.”
Kotze urges parents to speak to their children about the game and to encourage them to play it safely. “They should not wander off alone in search of Pokémon or go to places that could be unsafe. Parents should also be aware that the app has an age restriction of 9+ due to Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence. Lastly, parents should explain to their children that when they download the app all their account information is made available so privacy settings need to be in place.”
“By educating our children on these potential threats we can ensure that they can be involved and still play the game safely,” concludes Kotze.