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Poké-102

A guide to Pokémon for parents-part 2 (see what we did there)

After choosing your initial Pokémon, it is your mission as a Pokémon Trainer to hunt and capture other wild Pokémon. You can train them to do cool stuff, evolve them into more powerful forms, battle other trainers for kudos and Prestige, but not least to "catch them all!"

All trainers need special items in order to be an effective Pokémon trainer including...

Pokéballs

Believe it or not, all Pokémon no matter how big, can be stored in these hand held balls. The Pokémon are converted into energy until they are released and given form again. When first encountering a wild Pokémon it must be severely weakened but not unconscious to be captured, which you do by hurling an empty ball at it.

Pokédex

Your Pokédex is a well of knowledge (or trivia to you and me) related to Pokémon training.  This is where you'll find information on HP (hit points), attacks and defences of the Pokémon in your care and things like how much Candy you need to collect in order to evolve your Pokémon up a level.

Evolution

Most Pokémon have at least one evolution if not two. These can either be achieved by training your Pokémon in the gym, battling wild Pokémon or using special Evolutionary Stones. This is possibly the most addictive part the game along with the completionists who need to "catch 'em all".

Battle

Once you've collected some Pokémon you might want to battle against other Pokémon trainers. At the beginning of the game you will be pitted against lower level Pokémon like Caterpie but as the game moves on your Pokémon will improve in skill, level up, and even evolve. The new Pokémon and trainers you encounter will also improve to make sure you are never in lack of a good battle! Most trainers in the game series travel far and wide to battle with Gym Leaders at Pokémon Gyms and earning medals for defeating them.

Now, all of this may sound a cruel way to treat animals but before you start dialing the RSPCA this world is nowhere near as blood thirsty or violent as it sounds. No Pokémon is ever shown to die they are merely knocked unconscious if they lose a battle. The trainers relationship with their Pokémon is designed to be very loving and caring and you adopt a mutual understanding and rapport between trainer and Pokémon. If a Pokémon doesn't want to play the game, like Pikachu for example, rather than forcing it you can set it free back into the wild. 

Pokémon Go... is it safe?

Recently Pokémon has had a huge mainstream resurgence thanks to The new app Pokémon Go which utilises your location services and works as a new streamlined version with all the features of the original. If you missed this news last year then you must have been on the moon! If you are concerned about the interaction of your children through internet games you're not alone. However, this app doesn't include any interconnectivity with any other user or message board of any kind. It works very much like an exercise Step App you walk you until encounter new Pokémon, where you throw a pokéball and capture them. As you walk your Pokémon will also level up, this app actually encourages kids to get out of the house and get some exercise!!! Obviously depending on the maturity of the child, a chaperone may be recommended and perhaps a time limit on it too. There is a warning that appears before you play which says "be aware of your surroundings when playing" i.e. Looking before you cross the road as opposed to staring at the screen and ignoring traffic. You may ask where is the battle aspect of the original game is? Well this is being covered by a recent secondary app Pokémon Duel.

Random trivia to share with your children

So far we've covered what your children already know. Here's some more random Pokémon which you can use to show that you know stuff too to and will make you seem like you haven't just read a quick guide but genuinely care...

This is Primeape. His aggressive behaviour is why they had to invent Pokéballs.

Hitmonchan & Hitmonlee are named after Bruce Lee & Jackie Chan... obviously you'll probably then have to explain who Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee are...

Rhydon was the first Pokémon to be designed.

Clefairy was almost the Pokémon mascot instead of Pikachu.

This is Arcanine, originally designed as a Legendary Pokémon. 

Different formats for Pokémon

Since its inception Pokémon has been through a lot of changes like the idea of breeding Pokémon etc. But the fundamentals remain the same in several games...

Multiple cartoons...

and innumerable trading cards...

If your child is into Pokémon they could've been introduced via any of these formats. The catalogue of Pokémon started with only 151 but now there over 700 known Pokémon and with no sign of stopping!

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