Unless you live under a rock or were cast away on a desert island for the last two weeks, you can’t but have helped see hundreds of young people wandering around like zombies holding their phones in front of their faces in the search for some elusive and unreal Pokémon character.
‘Pokemon Go’: Craze sweeps the nation and is poised to surpass Twitter – LA Times
What is unusual about the Pokémon Go phenomenon is that no one thought of it before. The technology has been there for a while, and the ability to augment reality using a cell phone camera and GPS is pretty much ubiquitous.
Incredible adoption as reported by SimilarWeb
User growth is literally exponential – SimilarWeb
Game designers and others have just not believed they would be able to get hundreds of thousand people off their backsides and out onto the streets and parks searching for invisible characters.So what does that mean for trainers? There is one powerful lesson to be learned from this kind of worldwide phenomenon. If you described what the game players are doing, you’d realize how close it is to the learning experience. The players are being asked to understand a relatively arcane map and a cast of characters, and then physically to hunt down these characters in the real world. They are doing all this for leader board style rewards and the strong human impulse to complete collections.
What has made this possible, is a fascinating blend of competitive, social, cultural elements and reward system that make the game so compelling to a younger generation.
Real Cool Productions has always talked about engaging, entertaining and educating as if they were the three legs of a training stool (in this case specifically referring to training achieved through the use of animation and video). We have had enough subjective experience to understand that if any one of these three elements is missing or underplayed, then the training is fundamentally weakened.
Everyone is fascinated by the phenomenon
The Psychological Pros and Cons of Pokémon Go – Can the new game craze help people with depression and social anxiety? – Psychology Today
The lesson is this.
To achieve effective and at the same time enjoyable training, we believe that it is necessary to consider how to engage initially, then entertain and finally to deliver the educational element without disrupting the first two.
Pokémon Go can teach us a thing or two about teaching others.
Pokémon Go, Pokémon characters and all images are of course the copyright of The Pokémon Company International and its subsidiaries.