We are a Go with Pokémon
Posted August 7, 2016on:
The hype and anticipation was almost like that of a long-awaited Star Wars movie. Fans had watched the trailers, followed the news, noted the tips, and wondered when we would get to welcome these foreign talents.
On day one, the usual news suspects got their clickbait, social media streams overflowed like Pidgies, and various agencies said play with caution. You can be sure that journalists and bloggers will have pens and keyboards poised to highlight anecdotes, particularly negative ones.
The education anglosphere seems to have been more positive in its outlook. Progressive educators have asked what is now possible and how the game might push thinking and pedagogy. For example:
- Educators Weigh Learning Value of Pokémon Go (interdisciplinary learning, experiential learning, geospatial exploration, enchanted learning environments, social/peer learning)
- Why Pokemon Go shows the future of learning gamification (this brief confuses gamification with game-based learning, mentions debunked “learning styles”, and says the Apple Watch and Oculus Rift are for AR when they are not)
- Imagination in the Augmented-Reality Age (a critique based on outdoor and make-believe play)
Teacher mindsets become apparent if you find out their reactions to Pokémon Go. Are they open to possibilities? Are they dismissive or close their ranks?
It is early days yet, but I reiterate what I mentioned in a tweet. We can now experience for ourselves what the possibilities are and what we might design as a result.
I am also encouraged by the unplanned but positive outcomes of Pokémon Go. I was moved by a BBC report on how an autistic boy came out of his shell thanks to the game. Here is a CNN piece on how it has helped individuals with Asperger’s, autism, and hyperlexia.
I was impressed by how much is shared by the community. There are very few instructions and insights in the game itself. Most the the strategies and tips come from people who share in forums and YouTube. Two particularly good collections of these are at LifeHacker and Kotaku.
I have started playing the game with my son. He is my Wikipedia and advisor for the game just like he was when we played Minecraft (YouTube playlist).
The little that I know now has already given me fuel for a keynote that I am preparing on game-based learning vs. gamification. I have no doubt that I will learn more so that I can share more.