Pokémon Go and augmented virtual reality games: a cautionary commentary for parents and pediatricians

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The recent release of Pokémon Go has ushered in a new set of challenges for parents and pediatricians, highlighting the importance of parents setting guidelines for video game use with their children. Within 1 week of its launch, the game attracted over 65 million users, many of whom are young children. Despite the potential benefits of the game described in our article, this location-based game format poses specific threats to the safety and physical wellbeing of children.

Recent findings

Reports have discussed both the benefits and adverse effects of this extremely popular video game. Benefits include increased exercise, socialization, and outdoor activity. Negative effects include increased risk of injury, abduction, trespassing, violence, and cost.

Summary

Pediatricians play a key role in counseling parents and children about safety precautions and setting appropriate limits for impressionable youth. Parents and pediatricians should be aware of this new and remarkably popular game that appeals to a wide variety of individuals. To protect children from injury, predators, and inappropriate situations, parents and pediatricians must regulate children's participation in this game and maintain vigilance for potentially dangerous circumstances.

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