From teens to police to moms and professors, the phenomenon has everyone in the streets and parks. Its causing otherwise unexpected friendships and brilliant new ways to get young people interested in their surroundings, history and architecture.
It’s also bringing the subject of AR home to every parent world-over. Discussion of all the pros and also the many cons is at a high whine at the moment, deciding if this is the work of evil-doers or has social /educational benefit. A mother the other day told me her kids got in 3 miles of walking they would never have done before. A despondent wife told me she’s lost any attention from her husband who spends more time out than ever (he was about 30ish if you pay attention to demographics). At a play date for our son, my wife, aghast, was grabbed by another mother to go off chasing the virtual creatures (what about the kids?). A few days ago neighbors found teenagers outside their house at 2am searching around with their phone lights on. They claimed Pokes were on their property. Police reported teens gathering in parks at night – then they (the police) joined the kids at park benches.
On the mostly negative side, James Steyer, the founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, wrote a letter last week which was posted in the Washington Post, to the Chief Executive Officer of Niantic Inc., the maker of the game. His letter raised a host of safety and security issues that he hopes the company will address in updates. “…we write to express significant concerns about the risk to children’s privacy, security, and safety posed by Pokémon Go,” Steyer stated.
The game’s developers are doing updates just today in response from historical sites and monuments who have asked to be removed from the game. J.C. Smith, the Pokemon Company's consumer marketing director, said in an interview this week that they’re doing the updates to keep it fun for players but to respect the real world.
A few posts across social media about Pokémon Go include:
- lol, our parks close at 11pm. A security officer showed up and everyone was expecting him to start kicking people out. He just strolled over to one of the busy picnic tables, asked if he could join us, and sat down and started playing.
- It's amazing, the humanizing effect the game has had for everyone involved. Not really sure how to put it into words; but I love what this game has done to people so far.
- There's a time and place for everything — don't play
#PokemonGO in class, or you'll lose 'em all.
At the moment the game, garnering Niantic millions a day and massive stock value increase, has the world’s attention. We’ll have to see where it goes and if it has any education value once the school year starts. We’re pretty certain some brilliant teachers will find a way to make it useful.
In fact, check out this blog from Katie Ann Wilson for a whole list of classroom ideas: http://www.quivervision.com/pokemon-go-education-katie-ann-wilson/
For more resources, any Apple user can view a compilation of helpful learning tools, including compatible apps and texts at: http://www.autismpedagogy.com/blog/2016/7/10/explore-everything-with-pokemon-go. This resource from Craig Smith includes making a walking journal, brings in math concepts and covers how to improve interpersonal relations among young Pokémon players.
Let’s see where it goes. No doubt its keeping people busy this summer, getting some exercise, learning a little too, while having amazing amounts of fun.