Pokémon GO – A Pervasive Game and Learning Community

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


The present article argues that the mobile augmented reality game Pokémon GO demonstrates what we have chosen to coin a pervasive learning community. Normally, communities are centred on a specific game, associated real-world events, and online communities, but Pokémon is different since the digital game world runs parallel with game activities in physical reality. This mobile and pervasive structure changes communities from previous binary modes of being either in or out of community to a heterogeneous possibility space of being engaged in all kinds of places all the time while interacting with friends, acquaintances, and strangers thereby reshaping and expanding learning formations of communities. This study is built upon field observations, interviews, and online questionnaires of Pokémon GO players. We wanted to find out who played Pokémon GO, when they played, where they played, and with whom they played, for how long how learning took place, and how the Pokémon Go communities were shaped. In the course of our investigation we found that Pokémon GO makes players physically active while moving around discovering, interacting, and learning new aspects of the game while finding novel places in the cityscape. We found that players engage the game and each other both online (as expected) and in real life in new places at all hours of the day thereby placing players in a new form of gaming scenario and learning environment, which we have chosen to call a pervasive learning community.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th European Conference on Games Based Learning
EditorsMaja Pivec, Josef Grundler
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Publication date2017
ISBN (Electronic)9781510850446
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event11th European Conference on Games Based Learning - FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Science, Graz, Austria
Duration: 5. Oct 20176. Oct 2017
Conference number: 11


Conference11th European Conference on Games Based Learning
LocationFH JOANNEUM University of Applied Science
Internet address


  • Augmented reality
  • Communities of practice
  • Gamebased learning
  • Pervasive games
  • Pokémon GO


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