What can Educational Games Learn from Pokemon GO?Sep 26, 2016 | 1 Votes by shilpa 10 rate The success that Pokemon GO has been enjoying is incredible... so incredible in fact that it is possible for educational games to take a page, so to speak, out of Pokemon GO's book.
Pokemon GO is the game that has taken the world by storm, a game that has made people set off on an exciting adventure to capture as many Pokemon as they can while meeting new friends along the way, shedding a couple of pounds, and having fun at the same time.
What is Pokemon GO?
Pokemon GO essentially is, a Pokemon game that is made for mobile phones. It allows you to catch fantastically detailed fictional animals from the world of Pokemon, hatch them, evolve them, collect a myriad of collectibles and fight other users in a Pokemon battle, to earn points and get badges. Fairly simple idea, right? Wrong. The game is a fairly complicated game for it brings new technologies to the table that makes the average person surprised. This game works by logging your position with the GPS of your phone and displaying Pokemon around for you to catch them. If you are lucky you wouldn’t have to travel much to catch a Pokemon, but herein lies its stroke of brilliance: a lot of people shed some weight due to Pokemon GO and that has made everyone happy.
So why is Pokemon GO important? Solely because it uses Augmented Reality to give you an engaging experience. This concept can be taken in and expanded upon, and applied to children’s educational games, where it has been found that by mixing real world with a digitally created experiences, children learn a lot more and can retain a lot more. Educational games also can take from concepts such as movement for accomplishing a task. Engaging concepts like movement for solving a problem can create amazing depths to learning and can give the child great experiences.
Pokemon GO rides the waves of millions of fans around the world, fans who have been patiently waiting for an application that lets them get back a nostalgic piece of childhood and at the same time get answer to the million-dollar question: “What if Pokemon lived in our world?” This concept can be used into educational games, where children can solve problems ranging from simple to complex, make teams, get challenged in a variety of challenges and come out with their skills honed. How augmented reality is used for educational games depends upon the mission and vision of the developer.
Pokemon GO is all about exploration. As stated earlier, it takes the advantage of walking or cycling to find pokemons, so does that make it a fitness app? Not really, but fitness is an added bonus to this app. Educational game developers should take ideas from this app and craft an experience for children to become more and more engaged to the world of the educational app, and that would include a bit of fitness as well. Children would be rewarded for exploration and playing the learning game.
Pokemon GO succeeds with millennials because it gives them a look back into their past, a nostalgic feeling. Learning games should introduce familiar settings for children to feel engaged. For example, children watch cartoons, and get familiarized with a number of characters from TV shows. Educational games that revolve around providing a deep experience with a storyline and characters can model the environment and characters according to cartoons popular with children.
Pokemon GO is free to download and free to play. This model of application marketing helped Niantic reach the incredible heights it currently is today. Educational games should have a mission to improve the education among children, and it should be free and be accessible by all. Having a price tag cuts back the potential customer base. If learning games become free, many people would be able to help their child learn without worrying that their kids may dislike the game, resulting in money down the drain.
Trying to combine some of the best parts – particularly its Augmented Reality (AR) plus real world exploration aspect - of Pokemon GO into educational games is a welcoming thought, but honestly, using AR in the classroom or at home offers certain challenges that we simply have to address.
AR opens the world to explore, therefore children might go on exploring, and there is always the fear of meeting unknown and potentially threatening strangers, or even inside the school, children will be at the risk of running into unfriendly people that may harm the child.
Moreover, most AR these days rely on the use of a screen and as our article on Screen Sense has aptly described, excessive screen use is still a huge no-no. Nonetheless, the acceptance of AR in classrooms or at home depends on how developers market educational games, creating ideas within the heads of parents and teachers to teach children more effectively will always be positively looked upon.