Three things Pokémon GO teaches us about corporate learning

It didn’t take long for Pokémon GO to become the most popular and successful mobile game in US history. As it continues to roll out in European countries, with its sights set on Japan and South Korea, it’s true that the augmented reality game has emerged as a worldwide phenomenon.

Developed by Niantic and published by The Pokémon Company, the location-based game uses a mobile device’s camera, clock and GPS settings to detect when players are in the game, making Pokémon virtually appear on-screen in locations near the player. The goal is to catch as many Pokémon as possible, and the more players travel around, the more opportunities they have to capture the animated creatures.

At BlueBottleBiz, we’re in the business of edutech, so it’s only natural that we sought out lessons Pokémon GO could teach us about the ways we learn and engage. Below we’ve outlined a few takeaways that can be applied to corporate learning programs:

The importance of gamification: Pokémon GO not only gamifies our commute to work and lunch breaks, but it also makes what some might call mundane tasks more enjoyable. Take physical exercise for example – going for a walk or run can feel like a chore. With an incentive of capturing more and more Pokémon the further you walk, the chore becomes more of a choice – a rewarding leisurely activity.

When you gamify a learning experience, there’s more incentive for employees to actively participate. It’s up to individual companies to determine the best approach to incorporate gamification, and if it’s done right, the rewards are endless. Learn more about the concept of gamification and ways to implement it within your organization with this Discovery Path

What real engagement looks like: A lot of today’s video games take a bite-sized approach to playing. In less than five minutes, players can either accomplish a milestone or fail and retry numerous times – a nice concept for gamers on the go. With Pokémon GO, the game entices people to keep playing by unlocking new capabilities the more they engage. Additionally, players never know where Pokémon will appear next, so there’s a constant urge to check the app. And since the game never stops and can be played almost anywhere, players have flexibility to engage whenever it’s convenient for them. With these engagement features, Pokémon GO excels at keeping players consumed for longer periods or more frequently in short bursts.

Both of these concepts – bite-sized activity and flexibility – are important when it comes to learning. By making content more digestible and accessible at any time, employees will feel more empowered to engage in the experience. To learn how to incorporate bite-sized learning and convenience into your corporate learning programmes, click here.

There’s power in numbers: Pokémon GO players can easily and more rapidly take over ‘gyms’ (places where Trainers go to train their Pokémon) by collaborating with other players. Along with reaping faster rewards through collaboration, the game has a powerful social aspect. Players aren’t only sharing images and updates on social media, they’re traveling in groups to parks and other hotspots to capture various Pokémon.

Learning should be approached in a similar collaborative and social environment, where employees can work directly with their colleagues while engaging with experts on specific subjects. Through two-way collaboration (both sharing and absorbing knowledge) learning becomes more of a social activity and less of a daunting task to tackle individually. For more information about the power of collaboration and how collaborative learning environments lead to better results, reference Group Genius by Keith Sawyer. If a collaborative learning environment sounds like something you’d like to try, please let us know.

Is your team already implementing the tactics described above, or are you implementing other learning techniques that work well within your organization? We’d love to hear about them. Tweet us @dialoguetweets

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