Following writing about AR goes viral | Pokémon GO at the end of last week, I though a brief update might be useful. Especially in relation to the safety of your pupils (or, indeed, children amongst your family and friends).
Since that last post we have had news of people falling off a cliff, a mass stampede in Central Park (NY), teens stuck in a cave, more phone robbery and teens in Florida shot at. All while playing Pokémon GO. There was also the idiot who called 999 to report a ‘stolen Pokemon’.
Though let’s not forget the Health benefits of Pokémon Go.
If you are a member of CAS (it’s free to join), you will find a useful discussion on their forums about how best to provide safeguarding advice to pupils and their families before the summer holidays.
Useful guidance has been provided by the NSPCC and the UK Safer Internet Centre. My own children’s school has emailed the following to all parents (which suggests something of a misconception about the gameplay, but the central advice is sound):
Pokemon Go explained:
Pokemon Go is an app enabling users to create a character and then use Geo Location to find other users that also have their own character. A map is provided which shows nearby Pokemon on it. The basic premise of the game is to walk or ride towards the Pokemon in order to capture it and increase your game status. The game is fast becoming very popular and many people are enjoying playing the game in a safe and responsible way. There are, however, some risk factors that need to be considered, including becoming so absorbed in the game that players lose awareness of the environmental around them and stranger danger.
[Followed by a link to the UK Safer Internet Centre advice.]
Beyond safety issues, the phenomenon that this game has become continues to generate interesting articles about both the game itself and AR generally;
- Pokemon made me do it (BBC)
- Pokédrone allows users to catch out-of-reach Pokémon (Dezeen)
- Churches sign up to become Pokestops (BBC)
- Why do Pokemon avoid black neighbourhoods? (BoingBoing)
- Pokémon Go’s retention rates, average revenue per user are double the industry average (TechCrunch)
- How Pokemon Go took over the web (BBC)
- China is worried Pokémon Go will uncover secret military bases (Cult of Mac)
- Pokemon Go Is a Glimpse of Our Augmented Reality Future (Singularity Hub)
- How Pokemon Go did what these 3 hype-heavy startups couldn’t (TechCrunch)
- The Best Mobile AR Apps That Aren’t Pokémon Go (Gizmodo)
- Pinpoint: How GPS Is Changing Our World (Book review, The Guardian)
I’ve included the last of these because, clearly, Pokémon GO uses GPS and this is a review of a newly published book about GPS that looks rather good.