Pokemon Go and Digital Literacy

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A great deal has been written about Pokemon Go since the game was launched in July and is a good example of the need for Digital Citizenship leaders to be practitioners and advocates for and Digital Literacy.

We feel that the extracts from the three articles below highlight. The first article details the history of the ship that John Hanke named his company after and that economic migrants and brain drain isn’t new.

The second article argues that Silicon Valley companies do nothing for local economies… but the third article highlights how local businesses are indeed benefiting from Pokemon Go.

Pokemon GoldSite of the Niantic

The story of the Niantic is that of a ship made rich, abandoned, remade, burned, buried, lost, re-found, and then lost again.

The Niantic was one of many ships that brought eager gold-seekers from around the world into Yerba Buena Cove (now San Francisco) during the frenzied times of 1848-1849.

The Niantic was built in Connecticut in 1835, she was intended for sailing the trade route between the U.S. and China

The amount of money to be made ferrying gold hungry hopefuls to Yerba Buena Cove was staggering, and the Niantic made over 38,000 dollars – over a million dollars in today’s money – on its single trip bringing gold seekers to California

On the first day five of the crew deserted, nine more left on the second day, and three more took off on the third. (It may have been about more than just gold, as two of the deserting sailors stabbed their Captain as part of their farewell.)

The ship, left with almost no crew, was simply floated out of the busy bay and purposely run aground

The ship was subsequently converted for use as a store, warehouse, offices, and hotel.

The Niantic is only one of around 50 ships now buried somewhere under San Francisco’s financial district.

Capitalism Article

‘Pokemon Go’ is everything that is wrong with late capitalism

Technology-based products like Pokemon Go explain a lot about the current state of the global economy.

If you were looking to have fun with some friends 50 years ago, you might have gone to a bowling alley. Maybe you would have hung out at a diner or gone to the movies.

These were all activities that involved spending a certain amount of money in the local economy. That created opportunities for adults in your town to start and run small businesses. It also meant that a teenager who wanted to find a summer job could find one waiting tables or taking tickets at the movie theater.

When you spend money on items in the Pokemon Go world, it doesn’t go into the pocket of a local Pokemon entrepreneur — it goes into the pockets of the huge California- and Japan-based global companies that created Pokemon Go.

There are, of course, some good things about this. Pokemon Go can be a much more affordable hobby than going to a bowling alley or the movies. In fact, you don’t have to spend any money on it

Money is flowing away from small and medium cities and toward big technology companies concentrated in big cities.

And obviously Pokemon Go isn’t the only example of this. Amazon is doing something similar in the retail industry, diverting business away from local retailers and sucking cash into its corporate headquarters in Seattle.

Companies like Google, Facebook, and Vox Media are drawing ad dollars that previously went to local newspapers and television stations.

Of course, America has always had geographic industry clusters that sold products nationwide — think about the Detroit auto business or the Hollywood movie industry.

But there was an important difference: Major 20th-century industries tended to generate a lot of opportunities in communities where their product was sold.

A film might be made in Hollywood, but local people all over America had to build and operate movie theaters. Cars might be made in Detroit, but people all over the country had to run auto dealerships and car repair shops.

App makers don’t have to live in any particular location. In practice, they tend to be heavily concentrated in the same big cities as most other technology jobs.

The result is that the internet economy is increasingly transforming America into two parallel economies. Cities on the receiving end of Pokemon Go–style money gushers are booming so much that acute housing shortages are causing rents to skyrocket. The rest of the country has seen barely seen an economic recovery at all.

Pokemon Go seems unlikely to produce very many opportunities for complementary local businesses.

Since 2008, the US economy has been awash in cheap capital. In a few places, especially Silicon Valley, that has created bubble-like conditions where every crazy ideas seems to get funding.

The success of Pokemon Go points to two big areas where policymakers ought to change their approach.

While the average resident of Kansas City or Baltimore might not have the skills to create the next great mobile game, he or she probably could find work as a schoolteacher, nurse, or construction worker in San Francisco or New York — but only if he or she is allowed to live within commuting distance of technology workers.

More direct income redistribution may be called for — taxing rich people in high-growth areas to fund expanded government services, wage subsidies, or even cash payments to people in slower-growing parts of the country.

How businesses are trying to cash in on Pokemon Go craze

Businesses aren’t just cashing in on the Pokemon Go craze — they’re embracing it with gusto.

The restaurant is adding charging stations for Pokemon players to juice up their phones to make the game’s fans feel even more welcome.

For businesses of all sizes, it’s clear, Pokemon Go is more than just a game.

Michele Haiken “The world is a text and when there is something that captures mass attention around the globe, educators must stop and pay attention to how it impacts their students and content area learning. The report addresses the pros and the cons of the digital game and offers an unbias perspective. Teachers need to look at the report for their own understanding of youth and digital cultures as well as think about the elements of gamification from Pokemon Go that can be adapted in classrooms to enhance learning and student motivation. Educators, the press, and players are still talking about Pokemon Go and it seems more than a fad. The article links and diverse perspectives in the report are informative and multidimensional. Whether playing the digital verson of Pokemon or borrowing from the “old school” card game PokemonGo has captured the interests of people of all ages and from all walks of life. Digital Citizenship, Gamification, Play, Creativity, and Curiosity are elements of education that are important to ISTE as well as relevant to all those who work in education. Those who read the report will know what it is, how it works, and why it’s important.” Michele Haiken, Ed.D | Teacher | Blogger | New York

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