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Pros and Cons of Allowing Your Children to Play Pokemon GO

Pros and Cons of Allowing Your Children to Play Pokemon GO

You’ve probably heard of the new global phenomenon known as Pokémon GO. Anyone who was a kid during the 80s and 90s is well acquainted with the fluffy pocket monsters that were created in Japan, and today they have taken over our planet once again.

Immediately after Pokémon GO appeared on Google Play and the App Store, its downloads started to break all world records, and developers from Niantic witnessed an amazing spike in their share value. Since it became the most-downloaded application ever, it was almost impossible not to know about this game.

If you are a parent, then you might have noticed how your child wants to go outside far more frequently, or that your kid wants a new smartphone if the old one is not compatible with this game. So, the question is whether Pokémon GO is a good game or a bad game for your kid. In the following article, I’ll discuss its pros and cons.

PRO: Your children will have more physical activity

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    Pokemon GO is certainly different than other video games, since instead of sitting it requires you to walk in order to progress, or level up. Sure, there is a way to catch pokemon while sitting at home, since one will spawn at your place of residence on an hourly basis, however these are only common pokemon.

    The point of the game is to catch them all, and the most efficient way to get new pokemon is to hatch the eggs that players obtain by visiting pokestops. There are three different types of eggs: those that hatch after walking 2 kilometers, those that hatch after 5 kilometers, and those that hatch after 10 kilometers.

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    So, if your child wants to get new pokemon, he or she will need to walk at least 2 kilometers per day, plus in order to get new eggs a child needs to pay a visit to a pokestop somewhere in town. In other words, the game itself really incentivizes physical activity, since the best way to advance is just to keep moving.

    Also, if you are a passenger in a car or a bus, the game notices how fast you are moving, and the distance you make is made null and void. To make it simple, if you are worried that your child is not getting enough activity because he or she spends too much time at home playing video games, then Pokemon GO is definitely a game that you should allow.

    PRO: Your children will socialize more with their peers

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      People tend to go together when they are hunting for new pokemon because it’s much more fun and more efficient, so the game also incentivizes team spirit. Teamwork is promoted via in-built game features and mechanics.

      First, there is an item called a lure module that is used on a pokestop to attract more nearby pokemon. To be more precise, the item increases the spawn rate of pokemon near the pokestop it is used on, and all players who are around can benefit from this feature — not just the user. So, for the sake of making full use of the item, people tend to go in groups and use the module either on two or more stops that are in close proximity of one another, or to use more modules on the same one after one expires.

      Second, there are three different teams: Team Instinct, Team Mystic, and Team Valor. Once you reach level 5, you get to choose which team you want to be affiliated with. There are locations known as gyms and you get to take over the gym in the name of your team. If someone from an opposing team is in possession of the gym, you can take it down and claim it in the name of your team. However, there is a thing called gym prestige, and it grows if you fight a gym that already belongs to your team.

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      By increasing the gym prestige, you open up additional slots for players of the same team to leave their pokemon, thereby increasing the defenses of the particular gym. So, people of the same team go together to take down the opposing teams and claim gyms, and then they fight there in order to increase gym prestige and bolster its defenses.

      This is how team spirit is promoted in Pokemon GO, so you can be certain that your child’s social life won’t suffer. In fact, your kids might even meet new friends.

      PRO: Your children can earn money

      Pokemon GO is not only played by kids, a lot of nostalgic adults also enjoy playing the game and chasing after new creatures. However, people have jobs, and in order to unlock all of the in-game features, you need to reach level 20, which can take a long time if you do not play the game frequently.

      There are numerous ways to earn experience and level up, but in order to be truly efficient and use all the items to their full potential, you need to walk and play the game. This is time-consuming, and time is a commodity many employed people cannot afford.

      However, many people create new emails for the purpose of playing the game, and they will gladly share that email and pay someone to level it up so that they can enjoy the game to its fullest. This is a wonderful opportunity for your kid to earn some cash by leveling up someone else’s account. If you are unemployed and love to play the game, you can do the same thing.

      Here is a guide on how to become an expert and how to distribute in-game resources more efficiently. Moreover, the child can learn some amazing new skills, since improving resource management can make you a better player. Again, the opportunity to earn cash is open for everyone, so make sure you go through an online guide if you haven’t played the game so far, and you’ll know everything there is to know.

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      PRO: It is a bridge between different generations

      As mentioned above, the Pokemon trend has been around for a long time, and now its community consists of both millennials and those of generation Z. These people are active members, they make YouTube videos, exchange experiences, and keep an entire community together.

      It’s really nice to see one app do all these things and you should encourage your child to participate as well. It may inspire your kid to become a vlogger or a blogger one day, which are hobbies that can be quite lucrative and will be quite useful in years to come.

      PRO: It can help your child develop an adventurous spirit

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        The last positive trait that will be covered is inspiring an adventurous spirit. Like we said, the main objective is to catch all of the pokemon and complete the pokedex. However, out of 136 obtainable Pokémon, only around 60 of them are easy to find, and as far as the others are concerned, your child will have to visit all sorts of places in order to find them. There are even those that are region-exclusive, meaning some are only available in Europe, others in America and Japan, etc.

        So, the developers clearly want you to move around, visit river banks, and even other continents. If exploration is rewarded in this way from a very young age, a child can become an individual with a more open mind and a desire to experience other cultures — which is truly a positive thing.

        CON: Your kid can get lost

        Let’s address some of the potential dangers that you might face as a parent. First of all, while the app is on and connected to the internet, the whole map is displayed on your phone, and anyone can easily find a way back by following the pokestops, so that’s really helpful. However, there is a downside to this. Pokemon GO depletes your phone battery really fast, so after playing a game for an hour or two, your phone may shut down, and if you are in an unknown part of town, it can be difficult to get back.

        So, either ensure that your child always has a spare battery, or simply tag along and make sure he or she doesn’t get lost. You can also tell your child that they need to be close to you when they play the game. You can also download an app to track the phone, so that you always know the location of your kids. Also, if there is a big generation gap between your kids, the older ones can supervise the younger — chances are they both play the game.

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        CON: They will need supervision

        In addition to getting lost, there are also other dangers your kid might be exposed to. For example, some people have already managed to take advantage of the lure module feature. They set up a module on a secluded pokestop and wait for an innocent victim to approach it, then they simply mug those people, since they are certainly carrying a phone with them. It would be wise not to allow your kids to go out and play the game at night.

        Also, if your child uses your email account to play the game, it can be troublesome for you to allow too much freedom. There is an in-game shop that uses real money to purchase certain items, and if your credit card information is linked to your email, there is a chance your child can access it and buy in-game currency. So, make sure you check these things before you allow your kid to play the game.

        Lastly, there have been a couple of incidents in streets because some kids do not pay attention to where they are going. If they are too busy looking at the screen, they can easily get hurt. So, if your child is too young and doesn’t pay attention, it’s always better to go along and supervise.

        Conclusion

        All things considered, Pokemon GO is a really original and creative app that has managed to impress a lot of people. There are numerous benefits for everyone who knows how to actively participate in the hype, and if you are a parent, this is a great opportunity to bond with your kid. So, measure these pros and cons and decide if Pokemon GO is something you want your children to have on their phones.

        Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/users/geralt-9301/ via pixabay.com

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        Djordje Todorovic

        Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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        Published on January 17, 2020

        How to Learn Yoga (The Beginner’s Guide)

        How to Learn Yoga (The Beginner’s Guide)

        If you think yoga can be learned on the mat, you’re wrong! To learn yoga is to learn yourself, your life and the world around you, which happens mostly off the mat.

        Since 2000, I study, practice, teach and live yoga – I grow with it from year to year – hence life becomes more interesting and more meaningful from year to year, too. Through all these years, I observe the evolution of yoga in the western culture and see, how (mostly) wrongly, has been interpreted, taught and practiced. Little is known about how to learn yoga – about its practice, its effect and its application. Yoga is all about finding the simplicity and the meaning in the complexity of life.

        But when we look around us, it doesn’t seem so simple, even for those who practice it, and for the most who teach it. Everything about yoga begins in its definition from the original yogic scripture Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.[1]

        And the value for how to learn yoga, is in this article – showing the value of the above definition and how to practice it in the simplest way, effectively and efficiently.

        What is Yoga?

        Yoga-Citta-Vrtti-Hirodhah — and its translation is: Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations arising within consciousness.

        The 195 Sutras, that the original yoga scripture consists of, are written in a strongly compressed manner with the idea to deliver a profound meaning and a lot of space for interpretation. However, the interpreter must be highly serious and competent, otherwise the interpretation will drastically deviate from what the message conveys.

        When the definition about yoga is interpreted and applied the right way, it tells us how yoga is to be practiced and explored. To start the right way, we must know the right destination of yoga, which is Kaivalya:[2] The union between you, the other and the world.

        Let’s see how to do that:

        Beginning with the famous mainstream slogan “Union of Body, Mind and Soul”, brings up the question, “How to reunite the body, mind and soul?”

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        Your feelings – created by outside stimuli result in the creation of thoughts, hence there’s connection between your body and mind. That’s easy to understand, right?

        Now this connection and the thoughts must serve and improve the mind, making it capable to 1) understand the soul and 2) to unite it with the body and mind. That’s where our journey towards the goal of yoga (Samadhi) is interrupted – making the main part of the union not easy to understand, even less so to accomplish.

        Yoga is More Spiritual than Physical

        This is what makes yoga more spiritual than physical. To put it in numbers, yoga is 97% of psychological, philosophical and spiritual nature and only some 3% of physiological, considering that there are only seven out of 195 Sutras referring physiologically to sitting and breathing, of which I talked in my earlier post on Yoga For men.

        But before experiencing any spirituality from yoga, there is the mental (emotional) part that needs to be mastered and that part is to establish a connection between the body and mind. How?

        The simple thought and realization that you are conscious of how you feel within your body (cold, warm, relaxed, depressed, anxious, happy and so on), means that you have made the union between your body and mind. (below the step by step exercise for that).

        But to establish a connection to your soul – to the finest part of yourself – the Self:

        You must find out (through thinking) what is the subtlest thing that drives your body and mind – yourself as an individual and use that driver to go pass beyond your physicality and mentality.

        It is right here that you use the definition about yoga and the realization – the moment, where you are not analyzing any thoughts or feelings. This is a state of Yoga – a state of union between body, mind and soul, in which your consciousness has ceased to identify with its fluctuations.

        Yoga as Creativity and Expertise of the Individual

        In such a case, there is no specific (like beginners, intermediate or advanced) technique for learning yoga. The moment of the state of yoga arises for everyone of us in an individual way as everybody’s physique and mental content are different. You might be very well advanced in performing the most difficult asanas for decades but still unable and incompetent to be in a state of union with your body, mind and soul. Whereas, if you are a beginner and possess the grace and other virtues, than it’s easier and quicker to establish that connection.

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        As yoga is an inherent part of the human being, firstly, in order to pave the yoga path successfully and effectively, you must understand that yoga is not a technique for performance, but rather a creativity and expertise of yourself.

        Your learning process cannot be focused on, nor conditioned by a certain handbook, someone’s instructions or some specific school.

        Learning yoga requires your creativity to look within yourself and learn from yourself, become the expert of your feelings, emotions and desires. You, as a beginner might already possess many qualities and prerequisites for creating the union between your body, mind and soul, but your knowledge requires creativity for your growth to reach the state of union and then reap the fruits of that union. Once this happens there is no turning back – you’ll be pulled by the beauty and energy of your on being.

        Be Fast Mentally and Slow Physically

        As already mentioned, you don’t need to do physical performances like the split or the headstand to be able to immerse in a deep meditation or Samadhi. But you do need enough creativity for your self-inquiry.

        Many of my students start working directly with meditation – attending the complexities of the mind, because that’s where the hindrances lie. There, the meditator is able to work on the cessation of identifying with the fluctuations of the consciousness – where intelligence expands, adversity ends and the individual is ready to pass through its physicality and mentality in order to reach the union with the soul.

        But if you’re really a beginner and cannot start with that, then you can start enhancing your creativity on the body-mind level. The exercise follows in the next paragraph.

        The greater your creativity, the better your expertise about yourself – the deeper your competence to inquire further into the union with your soul. Sure enough that a more pliable and healthy physical body has some advantages and better preconditions for that, but don’t get discouraged because your body-mind union will open up the way.

        So here we are, you are at the moment to enhance your creativity upon that union. Please, take this as a very serious part of the practice as it is crucial for learning yoga – for learning yourself.

        The Beginner’s Exercise – Creativity upon Body-Mind Union

        The first and most important element to learn and practice yoga is of physiological and psychological nature: Stillness:

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        1. Make sure your body is still and comfortable.
        2. Focus on breathing to initiate observing.
        3. Observe your body and identify the first feeling that occurs to you.
        4. Keep identifying feelings and emotions, but without getting involved with them.
        5. Now create feelings and emotions as you please and let them go.

        That’s it! That’s the creativity upon the body-mind union. The validity of this creativity lies in the stillness and observance of that union. In this practice you can learn to understand and catch the moment – the main ingredient of life.

        Life is a sequence of moments and knowing that you’re able to manage that sequence is a new level of living life, called dharma – the practical and skillful way of living. An essential character develops as a result of practicing this discipline.

        However, be aware that we are still talking about outward elements of yoga – the gross levels (from Yama to Pratyahara) whereas the subtle, inward elements (Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi) are yet to be approached, learned and implemented. It is on these subtle levels that you can realize the depth of spirituality and the essence of yoga.

        It is remarkable how the science of yoga can take you in such heights and depths of exploring life and being. Little is known about the essence and the right practice of yoga in the west. There is a huge knowledge gap between how yoga should be learned and how it is practiced today in the west. You can bridge this gap by practicing the above exercise.

        Know that yoga is of a very subtle nature – operating on a subtle energetic level – the level of your mental energies, your thoughts. That means that it is to be learned at that level and not on any other. A body posture alone cannot take you to that level if you don’t apply your creativity and self-inquiry.

        Prerequisite for Yogic Success – Union between You and the Other

        Yoga is nothing, if our relationships with others are not managed harmonically.

        Learning yoga is also learning connecting with the other – with the stranger who’s not you but carries the same “core”, the same heart as you. We as individuals, possess the inborn feature of Ego – the “I-consciousness” that makes us feel separate from the rest of what makes the wholeness.

        This separation is the second of the the five “klesah” afflictions[3] – that stand as major hindrance against the union (Yoga) – called “asmita” or I-am-ness / Egoism (Y.S. II.6.), and has to be cultivated and brought to a level of discernment that will lessen our disturbance that comes out the fragmentation between the “I-am-ness” and the “Other-ness”.

        This is a crucial concept in Yoga and it is inevitable to be worked upon this hindrance in order to reach the inner “psychological” freedom or the ultimate liberation “Kaivalya” for which Yoga stands for. But, again, if you are beginner in this part, you want to know how to start dealing with all this. Here is the exercise:

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        1. Practice observance from the first exercise.
        2. Realize that the structure of your feelings, emotions, etc. is identical with the one of the other individuals.
        3. Practice witnessing, tolerating and gradually accepting the diversity between yourself and the other individuals.
        4. Observe for so long with equanimity, until you see the uniformity in that diversity.

        This is one of the greatest accomplishments a human being can achieve. To be, means, to be in relationship – internally, as well as externally.

        Yogic Lifestyle – Union Between You, The Other and The World

        Here comes the last piece of the puzzle – the union – on the highest level of worldly existence – between you, the other and the world. This means that Yoga is also worthless if practiced only on the mat. So when learning yoga, especially when practicing the body-mind union, consider if:

        You speak the language of nature and how you’re connected to nature and its basic elements? Do you complicate your existence by thinking that you are in the center of the world and require extra attention and acknowledgement?

        Thinking this way interferes with the practice of yoga. And surely, you might wonder, what should be done here in order to create that harmony in union? You’d be amazed to know that there is one important yogic movement that needs to be done. That is:

        The action of not doing anything but contemplating! Then yoga happens.

        Yes, this goes beyond the physicality and mentality of your being. As our bodies play just a tiny part of the evolution of existence, we must not attach to the world in that sense – clinging to worldly life with that insatiable urge that generates worries and anxiety – but rather grow through life with detachment and the attitude that life has been gifted to us with the purpose to realize that gift and attain the wisdom of life.

        Go Beyond Your Physicality and Mentality

        Attaining greatness like connecting to the world and to your soul, we must pass beyond the thoughts, feelings and emotions, and the influence they have on us. Hence we want to make the mental fluctuations to cease and let yoga shine its light through this yogic movement:

        The stillness and the watching within.

        Can yoga be understood and achieved in one single session and then practiced continuously, productively and effectively? Of course it can. Your union within yourself, the other and the world is lot simpler and easier than you think. Practice these simple yogic movements diligently, seriously but also effortlessly and your yoga will be flourishing and fruitful. I salute the spirit in you!

        More About Yoga

        Featured photo credit: Avrielle Suleiman via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
        [2] Wikipedia: Kaivalya
        [3] Plato Stanford: Klesah

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