One Pokemon Go success principle L&D shouldn’t miss

One Pokemon Go success principle L&D shouldn’t miss

Pokémon GO is the augmented reality game on iOS and Android that is making the world go bonkers. Everyone is talking about it – TV, paper, tech columnists, newspaper editors and now the neighbors. Were you able to get your hands on the Pokémon GO app?

Pokémon GO’s wildfire success prompted many a L&D commentator to pen down “10 things to learn” and “3 things to ignore” kind of write ups. Some made sense and the rest seemed opportunistic. The game has added $ 9 billion to Nintendo’s market cap in less than 2 weeks. I also read recently that Apple has generated $3 billion in revenues from in-app purchases, in a similar time frame. So, the tempo of write-ups on this subject was understandable.

As a business practitioner, I have been able to glean one important takeaway from the success of Pokémon GO. I think it is a fundamental one, central to the possible success of all formats of L&D interventions – classroom sessions, online or blended. It is in the area of Learner Engagement. Before getting into it, I will briefly state the “As-Is” when it comes to Learner Engagement. Engagement is being attempted in “Virtual Reality”. Let me explain.

Most L&D interventions, if not all, tend to uproot the learner from their ‘real’ work environment. The interventions are administered in a custom environment bereft of ‘reality’. Outcomes from such L&D is a hotly debated topic and a lot is to do with ‘poor’ learner engagement.

Pokémon GO cracked the user engagement issue in style leveraging “Augmented Reality”. It provided users virtual goodies (called lures) but in a real environment i.e. the users daily surroundings. It delivered the goods within each user’s reality rather than uprooting them.

It may well happen that the Pokémon GO mania fizzles out, thanks to the nature of game mechanics. But it does hold an important lesson in user engagement done. How do you think L&D can administer interventions within the daily reality of its users?


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