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Revealing and changing character in PoGo

Posted on: April 2, 2018

I am following up my reflection last week on how games create personal opportunities for learning with how they reveal character. I use the game I play, Pokémon Go (PoGo), to illustrate.

I attended my third and fourth Exclusive Raids of Mewtwo last month. This could be like saying I struck the lottery a third and fourth time only if players did not crowdsource strategies on increasing the chances of hitting this lottery.
Third and fourth Ex Raids in PoGo.

I saw several familiar faces at the raid venue and made it a point to find nice people to raid with and to be welcoming to first-timers.

Doing these are important to me because there are groups who refuse entry to stragglers if they think they have an optimum number of people. Such unpleasant groups base such belief on unproven theory and make a social game anti-social.

PoGo does not make players social or anti-social. It is an extension and an amplification of who they already are. If they choose to perpetuate ignorance and turn newbies away, the game will do little to change those behaviours.

I was shocked by another phenomenon I experienced in my last foray. As I have developed a good strategy to catch Mewtwo, people handed me their phones after they lost or completely lacked confidence in their own abilities to snag it.

I was given six devices in quick succession and did one-ball catches in all but one device. With the exception of the first person who asked politely and clearly tried on her own, the others were just shoved under my nose.

The last three devices were from another woman with son in tow. These three and the other two devices had owners who shared these traits: They

  • outsourced the Mewtwo catches
  • seemed to think that they were entitled to do this
  • did not say “thank you” after I caught Mewtwo for them

At the time, I thought little of this. It was flattering to suddenly be relied upon for help. But as soon as my ego got out of the way, I realised that I was enabling selfish behaviour.

If I have the privilege of attending a fifth Ex Raid, I am going to repeat what I did for the first person who asked politely. I had met that auntie at my first raid and I showed her my strategy.

I met her again at what turned out the fourth Ex Raid for the both of us and she actually tried to catch Mewtwo on her own this time. This was better than handing the task immediately to someone else. I attribute this to her willingness to learn and my opportunity to teach her about two months prior.

I am not going to miss the opportunity to teach a few more strangers in the hope that they will learn to help themselves instead of relying selfishly on others. Then perhaps they can pass this strategy along…

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