By Simone Sheppard
Childhood nostalgia is making its way full circle in the form of Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go is a new app that aired early summer 2016. Once downloaded, players are able to catch Pokemon (digital pocket monsters) in the real world. The Pokemon franchise started back in 1996, and now twenty years later it has grown into fantasy becoming “reality”. The main feature on Pokemon Go is the Augmented Reality button (AR). This button allows users to switch over to their cameras in order to “catch” Pokemon in the real world. Tyler Junior College is a perfect place to open the game. Several locations are known “Pokestops” Pokestops are places where the gamers can collect items for the game, such as pokeballs. Feeling a bit competitive? You can even take Gyms in the app. Once you have reached level 5, you have the option of choosing between the three teams: Valor (Red), Mystic (Blue), and Instinct (Yellow). Once you select your team you’re able to claim different gyms. There are two known gyms on campus that are next to the Pirtle technology building.
Students can catch Pokemon and level up in between classes with ease. Rogers Student Center is a perfect example of one of the many “Pokestops” on campus. Advisor Whitney Sharman is an avid Pokemon Go player. “I have definitely spotted an increase on campus of people playing Pokemon Go. Since I play as well, they’re usually pretty easy to spot! The best perk is during my break and right before or right after work I can restock on pokeballs before I go hunting later that night.”
Brittnee Cagle, age 23, studies Biology here at Tyler Junior College. She is also an avid player of Pokemon Go as well. “It has been a great stress reliever because it makes walking around more enjoyable, you also get to meet a lot of cool people with at least one thing in common. It makes it a lot easier to talk to fellow students because you know they’re playing the game and you can start conversations a lot easier if you have one thing to go on.”
Brittnee is the creator of the Go Fund Me account that is raising money to fix the damages caused by Pokemon Go players in the Rose Hill Cemetery. “I started it because I was angry someone was so disrespectful,” She said. “I knew that if the community united a little from each person could go a long way. I knew it wouldn’t hurt to start one if only for the convenience of donating online.” Brittnee says she prefers if people donate directly to the cemetery though, if possible.
Since its’ release in early July, Pokemon Go has become a wildly popular app. There have been PSA’s regarding the safety of players driving and playing at the same time. It’s become a well-known phenomenon and a great way for students to interact with each other while on campus.