Pokemon Go: Things Christian Parents Should Consider

Jul 19, 2016 | Parenting

If you’ve been on social media or watched the news at all this week, you know about the new game Pokemon Go. It’s a virtual

Photo credit Tech Crunch

Photo credit Tech Crunch

reality game on smart phones designed to get gamers out of the house and physically moving. By downloading the app, you use the location devices on your phone to go to local places where you can “catch” a Pokemon avatar on your phone.


Sounds harmless, well intentioned and fun.

Other than death and robberies that have occurred playing the game, there are reasons Christian parents should reconsider the game. Not just Pokemon Go, but the Pokemon video game, cards, and products. 

Disclaimer: If you don’t believe in the occult, demonic influence, or the spirit world, this will seem foolish to you. However, if you believe Scripture when it talks about the enemy prowling around seeking who it can devour (1 Peter 5:8), consider the information.

Pokemon came out as a Nintendo video game in the 90’s. They are Japanese pocket monsters and have evolved into a television show, trading cards, books, and all kinds of interactive venues for kids. Like cartoon characters, the avatars have names, distinct characteristics, are part of a fictional universe and many have mystic powers.

For a fair description about Pokemon and perspectives to consider, the authors at Christian Apologetics and Research have a great post for complete information. Instead of explaining what the article can, I want to share my personal experiences and observations about Pokemon for you to consider, especially for young and early adolescent kids.

What Honors God?

I’ve protected my kids from certain pop culture phenomenas, especially during the early years. Before Harry Potter was big, my second grader brought it home from the library. I read the back cover about spells, witches, and wizards, and told my daughter that spells, witchcraft, and things talked about in the book “didn’t honor God.” It’s terminology I’ve used for twenty years when new things enter our lives that I screen as guardian of their souls.

I never told her or her brothers Harry Potter was evil. I never told them to tell their friends it was wrong to read the books. I just told the four under my care that it, and other things “didn’t honor God.”

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This has included other books, movies, video games, and music. It has also changed as each child has gotten older, usually as a teen, when I allow them to decide certain things for themselves. There are a few non-negotiables, but as their decision making abilities develop based on scriptural principles, I want them to discern what honors God in their lives.

Sometimes these things are a gut response on my part, and other things I research first before I give them an answer. I try to be fair, but I also know at the end of the day, I’m responsible to God for what I knowing allow to enter their mind or heart.

Pokemon and Spirits

Pokemon wasn’t a real issue for my kids. I think when my boys were young, we talked about the cards once. Something about them stirred that “gut feeling” and I just said, “I don’t think this is something we need to really buy or play with.” That was that. Pokemon hasn’t crossed our paths until, in the last week, my college kids joined the fun like everyone else their age.

But I got schooled on the dangers of Pokemon from students. Ten to twelve year old kids have told me story after story about Pokemon video games, the characters, and their interactions with them. I first was alarmed at the spirit realm of Pokemon when a ten year old told me how one Pokemon talked to him and guided him. He literally used the term “spirit guide” as he told me about the powers the character had and what it told him.

Another student, in a separate conversation, told me about the voices in his head that were making him confused. He reported about things the Pokemon character was telling him to do and how he knew it was wrong. Another student opened up a book of sorcery with Pokemon characters and was excitedly telling me about the spells in the book.

These are just three of several conversations I’ve had where kids tell me about Pokemon through books, a new video game, what the game does, and dark thoughts they have with Pokemon characters. When I hear it from the mouths of babes, I listen.

Satan Isn’t Dumb

As Christian parents, the enemy wants us to think things “that don’t honor God” are not a big deal. The spirit world of avatars, characters with powers, angels of light, and demons saturate the pop culture. These entities, especially in the form of video games, have real influence on the mind and souls of children. Satan isn’t dumb. He wants access to our children, and the “harmless” factor of these games only goes so far. fantasy

I don’t share most experiences I’ve had working with kids. I would sound like a fanatic. A nut. I’m also not here to tell you what you should do in your household. But I will tell you one mom’s story.

Sue called me in a panic. Her child’s mental health and behavioral problems were escalating. Over a few years, I saw her young, sweet, child begin to talk to voices in their head. The child told me about video game characters who were real in their mind and what they told the child to do. While I reported these incidences to the student’s therapist and parents, it wasn’t until the child was in crisis that Sue reported she should have done something about the video game addiction sooner. The realization of the playful fantasy world and spirits behind them were real.

Sue has since told me her child doesn’t believe in God anymore, that they believe in ghosts and witches. I grieved with the mom as she, too, was heartbroken.

As Christian parents, each of us need to make our own decisions for our kids and what we allow in their lives, minds, and hearts. What I’ve cited above are just a few examples of things I’ve experienced as a counselor that make me take notice of things that “don’t honor God.”

The enemy is alive and active, and we have to be sober in judgment and discerning for the spiritual and emotional health of our kids.




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  1. Mel

    I taught school for 30 years which included the Pokemon and Harry Potter years. In all those years, I never heard of any of our public school students (k-12) hearing voices or taking the stories seriously. We had many good Christian and nonChristian students and teachers who were able to distinguish fantasy from reality. There was a time when the Chronicles of Narnia was considered a demonic series of books because of the witchcraft and spiritual aspects. Now, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a recommended Christian book. Kids need to learn how to recognize and enjoy works of fiction as fun fantasy, not to be taken seriously. There’s enough evil in the world that we need to protect children from. Pokemon and Harry Potter are not among my biggest worries.

    • Brenda L. Yoder

      Thanks for your comments, Mel. As a teacher, you more than likely didn’t hear these things. They don’t happen to every child, I’m sure. As a school counselor, these are things told to me in confidence that would not be shared with teachers, along with other things we have to take seriously and report to professionals of which teachers may never know. There are multifaceted reasons for why or why not demonic influences, along with other spiritism, may happen on one’s life. My hope in sharing these thing, as with Harry Potter, is to give Christian parents perspectives to consider for their own families and children.

  2. Sandy blilie

    So glad you addressed this. Even as adults we seem so easily lured by fun and entertainment, oblivious to the dangers of living in enemy territory. Perfect prey for a seductive predator.i pray many will heed your warning.

  3. Mike

    If you’re hearing voices in your head telling you what to do, it is not because of Pokemon. You are either suffering a demonic attachment, that can be picked up anywhere or you need to see a mental health professional as you may be Schizophrenic.

    • Brenda L. Yoder

      Thanks, Mike. You’ve identified the reasons this is very complex for children. As noted, I shared concerns with the child’s parents and therapist, and for children, the portal to demonic attachment was seemingly through Pokemon as the character itself was speaking to the child as a spirit guide.

  4. Diane

    Thank you for sharing. My “gut” went into high alert the moment I heard about this latest craze. I was the mom like you, always on guard for those things which dishonor God. Oh that parents would listen

    • Brenda L. Yoder

      Thanks so much, Diane. It’s serious business when dealing with the innocent and vulnerable.

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