Millions of people across the globe have engaged in the latest killer app, Pokémon Go! It’s arguable that the franchise hasn’t received such a resurgence in popularity since it was introduced to the western market in 1998. It has managed to thrust itself back into the mainstream after years of being mainly within gaming culture.

It’s hard for me to log in to any social media platform nowadays and not see a Pokémon related post. During the height of the app’s popularity, every time I would walk through my local park I saw children, teens, adults, and families all bonding together with the use of the app. I knew it was impacting the hardcore fans, but after seeing that display in person it was safe to assume that the craze had taken full effect on the general population as well. While I do think a lot of the hype has died down over the past month, Pokémon Go still provides one with ample hours of fun and enjoyment.

The other night, I decided to try hunting around campus to see what was about. To my delight, I found that there are many Pokéstops that populate the area. For those who don’t know, Pokéstops serve as spots in the game that allow you to collect items such as Pokéballs. They are usually found near landmarks or buildings, such as the Forbes center or the Sundial between Keezell and Burruss Hall.  Another feature in Pokémon Go! are the gyms. If you power up your Pokémon enough you can take on the current gym leader in a battle that is very much akin to the video game. If your Pokémon is victorious, then you become the new gym leader and your avatar and winning Pokémon are placed on a pedestal for other players to see. The two gyms I was able to find were located in same vicinity, one being at ISAT and the other just outside Duke Dog Alley. Being a bit of a novice myself, taking on a gym with my current team of Pokémon would just be a disaster, but I give props to the people who are dedicated enough to take on the challenge.

As far as the different teams go, which consist of Mystic (blue), Instinct (yellow), and Valor (red), the game allows you to choose a team as soon as you reach level five in experience. To a long-time Pokémon player, this is the biggest decision one can make in the game, as it represents the themes found in the original handheld video games. To anyone else, the difference between the teams is merely a superficial one, so don’t be too intimated when the time comes to make a choice.

If you are a player, or want to become one, come check out the UPB sponsored event Pokémon GO DUKES at the Festival Lawn on Saturday, September 24, 7-9p! Hang out with other players while enjoying free food and prizes! Go by and check it out!

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