|Screenshot of the annotated version of Theriault's article.|
In what amounted to a short annotation flash mob, Theriault was taken to task for overhyping the game- "The Future of Education" and essentially for deficitizing youth for being hopelessly obsessed with their phones. A lot of his argument for PokemonGO was really an argument for permitting cellphones in school on their merits as composition devices. His overhyped title suggested a more measured title and defensible argument to me, so I took a break from chasing monsters to sit under a shade tree alongside my panting puppy, Oliver, where I sketched out a Twitter list of the reasons #PokemonGO deserves the thoughtful, creative attention of schools and teachers interested in playful methods for engagement with digital texts and tools. What follows is an edited revision of that list.
1. Interest in Pokemon and the app is cross-generational.
3. Youth have background knowledge of the game and the story.
|The table in my basement photographed during a PokemonGO planning session.|
4. Social mapping in PokemonGO is engaging and relevant.
5. Youth with mobile access will have background with digital maps- notably Google maps- and be able to make meaning of the geographic aspects of the game.They'll quickly connect maps to strategy.
6. The PokemonGO app is free, which allows for teacher and youth experimentation.
7. Using a mobile phone camera is central to gameplay. That invites creativity and composition.
8. The augmented reality in the game invites memetic composition, and shots like the one below are snatching the attention of Internet culture in the same way #bookface and #planking have in the past.
|Screenshot of this Tweet by @MatPatGT|
9. You can play outdoors, with a dog or a little sister.
10. In PokemonGO parks become text and media-rich environments to read and explore.
11. Museums and educational "3rd spaces" can marry, augment, and advertise their content w/ game content, like the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas has by blogging photos captured with the game's app.
|Screenshot of this Tweet by +Swot Sisters|
12. Players create avatars and rosters of pocket monsters, developing fictional digital identities to test in the collaborative game.
|My avatar was created by my daughter who was so excited she added an extra "l" to her own name.|
|A screenshot of this Tweet by @Sonya_Wattles.|