We are now week 2 into Pokémon Go’s release and New Zealand is not immune from the fervour. In fact, being at GMT+12 means we’re usually the first to get a game release and when it comes to mobile games, NZ has proven to be a valuable soft launch region for new game releases; there’s not too much going on in this time zone, we’re a small population of almost 4.5 million people and we’re quite tech savvy. It allows the game developers to sort through any issues in a manageable way.
Pokémon Go has become one of those conversation topics that help lessons become less ‘stuffy’ and formal. Yes, there’s only so much one can cram into 30 minute lessons and I try my best to get the most learning material in there as possible but kids lighten up immensely when their teacher brings up something like Pokémon Go.
I learnt about it last Thursday. Some of my students had spent the day doing the Westlake Bands tour of some of the Intermediate Schools on the North Shore.
“…but Pokémon Go got released in NZ today and everyone just spent the day playing it.”
Ha! The teachers just can’t blanket ban phones anymore, it would be impossible. The idea that everyone has the power of a Playstation 2 or 3 in their would seem crazy when I was in high school where the Nokia 3310 was the phone to have (and 2 years earlier we’d say ‘put your phone away you yuppie!’). Even the teachers were probably wishing they could get in on the fun and games but knowing full well that they have to keep up appearances of being the ‘responsible ones’.
In last week’s class, at the encouragement of one of my youngest students, I created a Pokémon Go avatar and captured the tutorial Pokémon. He thought it was great.
Come this week and I’ve been quizzing the kids. “So, have you caught ’em all?” They’re currently on 2 weeks school holiday so it’s going to be chaos in school when they go back. At their inevitable question back to me I have to say: “No, I haven’t been playing it. All I’ve caught in the tutorial Pokémon and a Spearow about an hour ago.” (I played way too much Shadow Cities to be sucked into another location based game).
It turns out the Glenfield Leisure Centre is actually a Pokestop, whatever that is.