Posted September 13, 2016on:
Previously I shared my rationale for playing the long game in PokémonGo. I urged educators to think more along the lines of imparting authentic values and thinking skills instead of artificially-constrained content.
I have played PokémonGo for just over a month. I have hatched a few 10km eggs over that time. I as focused on levelling up XP (experience points), I have noticed the eggs providing rarer and more valuable Pokémon.
My latest reward was the very rare Snorlax.
I did this without cheating: No jailbreaks, no location spoofing, no sharing of account information, etc. I did not have to join a crazy mob behaviour to get one either.
I did not play the game fanatically, I played it consistently. I did what I could to level up, I ensured the game was open when I walked, and I did not seek instant gratification.
This did not mean I did not have fun because there is so much to do beyond the farming and candy-ing of Pidgeys, Rattatas, and Weedles.
The enjoyment of the Snorlax, knowing the effort that I put into it, is more than what I would have if I used a cheat strategy for a quick reward.
That alone is an important model for my son as he was with me as we walked home and the Snorlax egg hatched. We stopped walking, ooh-ed and ahh-ed, and discussed its stats. I also reminded him how playing the long game had its in-game and moral rewards.
It will take more than one Snorlax for that message to sink in. My son will need to do the same to experience the process and reward for himself. It is perhaps the road less travelled, but that is reward in itself.