On July 6, the world changed.
Niantic released the Pokemon Go app, making every Pokemon fans’ dreams a reality.
Although the game had some major server issues in the first few weeks, gamers were not deterred from leaving their houses and exploring their neighborhoods in a valiant effort to “catch ‘em all.”
This desire caused mass hysteria in places like New York City, where one person took a video of hundreds of people sprinting to an area of Central Park after a rare Pokemon appeared on the game’s GPS.
Some have even hurt themselves while playing the game, with one incident resulting in two people falling off a cliff.
For those that may not be familiar how the game works, Pokemon Go uses the gamer’s location to catch virtual Pokemon in real time, meaning a Pokemon could show up in your bedroom or in the check-out line at Walmart.
Once a player creates their account, they immediately design their avatar before meeting the professor and choosing a starter Pokemon.
In order to have the opportunity to catch a variety of Pokemon, gain more supplies and become trainers, users must travel around to landmarks and popular places in their community that have Pokestops and Gyms.
ETSU’s main campus is home to many Pokestops and Gyms, and as a result, campus was a bit livelier than usual over the summer.
Keyana Miller a sophomore English major said that playing Pokemon Go on campus is, “surreal.”
“It’s crazy because here you are, at 10 o’clock at night on the steps of Sherrod with 50 plus people you don’t know,” she said. “Everyone is looking at their phone, no words unless it pertains to the task at hand — catching Pokemon. Here we all are, complete strangers, asking each other what level or what team or how many [Pokemon] for this virtual game that is completely fictional.”
Miller’s friend Dominique Cain, a sophomore biology major said it is an interesting, yet exciting experience.
“It’s cool because if you’re near the hiking trails behind campus you’ll find special Pokemon, or near the water fountain you’ll see water Pokemon,” Cain said.
Miller and Cain have also spent time figuring out the best places to catch Pokemon.
“The third floor of the Culp near the auditorium, the amphitheater and near the fountain as well as Buc Ridge are great places to catch Pokemon,” Cain said.
As for the best place to stock up on Pokeballs and other supplies, Miller said the Borchuck Plaza fountain is her favorite spot due to it being close to three or four different Pokestops at once.
One of the major perks of the game is how it seems to be unifying people of all ages and backgrounds, and with classes starting back, the amount of people playing Pokemon Go on campus is expected to increase.
“This game has definitely brought people together,” Miller said. “My 14-year-old brother and I now actually have something to talk about when I’m home or even when I’m on campus hundreds of miles away.”
The game is available for free mobile download on iOS and Android.