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At Momentum Conferencing we are always fascinated by the latest technology trends – and there aren’t many hotter than Pokémon Go! 

During the last couple of weeks it has been hard to miss the phenomenon of Pokémon Go which launched in the UK on Wednesday, July 13th to a media frenzy. For those that don’t know (where have you been?) Pokémon Go is a new app that lets players roam real life maps using their smartphone’s GPS location and catch different types of Pokémon. The app incorporates a virtual reality experience, using the phone’s camera to provide a live view of the real world, with the Pokémon superimposed. And believe me, it’s impressive!

The game has added millions of dollars to the value of Nintendo (which part-owns the franchise with Google) and provoked concerned groups to call for its ban even before launch.MP900422560-225x300

My outlook on the game was slightly different, here’s why…

Exercise

It’s not the game as such that inspires me, but the opportunity for kids, their parents and geeky/cool adults to get outside and exercise. Too many people ( especially children) spend too many hours inside, stuck in front of the TV or a computer game, however during my time playing Pokémon GoI saw adults doing something with their children that was both fun and educational.

Map reading

I have no doubt that navigation skills are something I am lacking! However using the smartphone’s GPS and the apps built into maps in real time I certainly feel these skills are improving. The game doesn’t suggest how to get from point A to point B or encourage sat nav, but forces you to navigate using landmarks and maps. I have found about half a dozen shortcuts around my town.

Educational

Players can visit Pokestops – typically landmarks or buildings – and collect free items in the game. The makers have been very clever to put these Pokestops in places of historic value or importance along with an image of the landmark. My local 17th Century church was one such example of a great Pokestop; here we were able to rediscover a building we have taken for granted for years. Subtly both children and adults are being educated.

Other Pokestops I have found have been at the local war memorial and the 1827 Eaton Socon cage in Bedfordshire (Google it!). In fact we came home wanting to find out more about the places we visited.

M-Learning

Mobile learning needed this game to boost its profile. Like the Angry Birds game before it, the Pokémon Go app is a great educational game for practicing planning and flexibility while using a mobile device. Additionally, it is a superb problem solving game that makes users do practical tasks, develop strategies and then use these skills to catch their Pokémon, while at the same time having fun. We as adults can’t expect ALL children or even our peers to all be technically minded and this is a great way to introduce m-learning to millions of smartphone users.

Conclusion

Although I don’t think my daughter and I will be avid users in the long-term (the novelty will wear off for me by next Tuesday!), I am pleased that companies such as Google and Nintendo are actively looking at developing games that teach much needed skills and encourage exercise… so thank you!

Takeaways:

  • Look at how technology can be used to teach your employees
  • Gamifying technology can increase collaboration
  • Mobile/remote learning is becoming increasingly common – how can you use it in your business?

 

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