In a sea of adults trying to catch Digletts and Pikachus, stands my husband and daughter bonding over Pokémon GO.
Perhaps my husband is using this opportunity to play a kids game without receiving any of the backlash other adult players have received, but the smile on both of their faces tell me otherwise.
When Pokémon GO launched, it seemed that the world (or at least as I know it) leaped into this mixture of reality and virtual reality. The excitement hasn’t overlooked our household. In fact, my husband and oldest daughter go for “Pokémon walks” every evening.
The first night they ventured out, they walked to a nearby shopping center. There were a number of adults with their phones out catching Pokémon. Returning home that evening, both of them couldn’t stop talking to each other. It was as though I wasn’t even in the room. Upon asking her if she had fun, my daughter replied, “Yes, it was the best day of my life!” Wow, such a bold statement from a six year old, I thought.
They made their way over to our bookcase, when my husband pulled out a couple of Pokémon books from his youth. The rest of the evening, they poured over the books and he gave her a tutorial on all of the creatures.
Once she was tucked into bed, I teased him about using her to play a kids game. Being a good sport, he laughed and then replied:
“No, I think it’s cool that I can share something I grew up with but in a modern version as opposed to how I experienced it.”
Through this Pokémon GO craze, my husband and daughter have become closer. Prior to Poéemon GO, they bonded over LEGOs, but it always ended in some sort of meltdown. In an attempt to find “their thing,” my husband tried to introduce her to video games. Nothing ever stuck and unlike those other video games and apps, it’s a great way to get some exercise the fun way. Like treasure hunting and scavenger hunts, Pokémon GO requires you to get out of the house and explore ― a far better quality than the video games that necessitate sitting on the couch all afternoon.
The past few days, they’ve been asking me to join them and I think I may eventually. For now, I like that they have formed a bond without me, even if it’s through playing with little pocket monsters.