My boys started screaming blue murder this morning. I honestly thought they were being chased by a child snatcher.
“We got it!” yelled my eldest, in a voice so loud my mum’s china rattled in the cabinet. My youngest joined in, and I quickly realised, to my relief, that there was nothing to worry about.
They’d caught a Pikachu.
Three weeks ago I had no idea what Pokemon Go was. Someone at work explained it to me, and I eyeballed her suspiciously as she rolled a Pokéball at a strange little creature lurking by the printer.
Since then, I’ve watched in amazement as the monster-catching craze enjoyed more and more hype, with players in Hastings walking fully-clothed into a red-flag-zone part of the sea (prompting the launch of a lifeboat), and groups of teens marauding round our local park holding their iPhones like compasses.
Adults are at it too in my parents’ neighbourhood – you can tell who’s playing through a combination of snooping at their phone screens and watching them waft their devices around in the air.
It was inevitable my boys would get into it. And actually the meshing together of fantasy and reality has been great. It’s got them out, exercising without even realising it. The game keeps track of the distance walked, and when it bleeped and flashed up 10km I wondered if we might even have lost some weight.
But, with the long summer holidays stretching on like a gaping canyon, don’t you think they should launch an alternative app for mums? Prosecco Go! Where you can find glasses of wine all over the place, real ones. As a reward for all that zooming around.