Pokémon Go powers up on EU Campus

Category:  News
Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 at 9:45 PM
Pokémon Go powers up on EU Campus by Anna Ashcraft
Graphic: Leah Oliver

Pokémon Go has swept the nation this past summer with its ups and downs. It’s getting mass amounts of people out and moving around for one of the first times in video game history. From its breakout debut, to its infamous update, it’s still very much alive and well in the world.

From the campus using lures during new student events, to Edinboro Pokémon Go Facebook groups and Pokémon Go nights, students are getting back into the school routine for the fall semester and Pokémon playing is in full swing.

“I’ve played Pokémon Go all summer. It’s awesome. It’s one of the best places [Edinboro] probably in the region, outside of Erie, to play. I’ve been out a few times. I hope people see it as a benefit and not a detractor,” William Galt IV, communication studies major said.

Galt continued, “We’ve got a lot of people out moving, which is something that no game has been able to do for me before. I hear about things like in Erie [where] they want to take down the Pokémon Go stops because it’s becoming an ‘issue.’ I hope that doesn’t happen here.”

All of the poke stops (Pokémon Go stops where you catch Poké Balls and other items) are building signs, placards, art sculptures, statues, memorial plaques and much more.

There are a number of gyms and Poké stops on campus. Frank G. Pogue Student Center is a Poké Stop, as well as the art sculptures in front of Loveland, Hendricks Hall, and the “Promote” sign in front of Compton Hall, among countless others. Next to the R. Benjamin Wiley Arts and Sciences Center and Cooper Science Center, the parking lot is littered with Poke Stops.

There are six gyms around campus. These include the Fighting Scot statue, the rusting art installation “Spinning Fish” by Ken Thompson, Bench forms, Butterfield Education Hall, and “Obedience,” a 20-year-old sculpture in front of the library.

“Black Hole” by Dietrich Wagner was an art sculpture next to Cooper Science Center that used to be on campus, but is still listed as a Poké Stop on the game.

John McDonald, film and video production major, said, “I play Pokémon Go occasionally, not as much as when it first came out. There’s
a lot more stops [poké stops] than back home. I haven’t been on campus long, but I don’t see people playing as much as they used to be. When it first came out and I would drive around the city, I would see a lot of people playing.”

Walking around campus, it’s easy to notice people walking with their heads in their phones or overhearing talk about catching wild Pokémon, however, it seems that the game is beginning to die down in popularity and only a few of the students approached actually played the game.

“I see people running around. People will try to stop them to get voter registrations and things like that, then they will be like ‘No, Pokémon.’ I see people all the time [playing Pokémon] in between classes, before dinner, or after dinner,” Gracie Fettig, early childhood education major said.

Now with Pokémon spawning around campus and Poké stops at pretty much every corner, there are some inevitable safety concerns.

Jeffrey Hileman director for university communications, said, “Pokémon Go has been a tremendous source of fun on our campus. We encourage students and others who use the game application at EU to keep safety top of mind so that their fun is not spoiled.”

University police chief Angela Vincent encouraged users to avoid dangerous situations and injury by following these safety precautions:

1.) Always have a partner with you; never go anywhere alone.
2.) Always stay in well-lit areas. 
3.) Always be conscious of your surroundings. For example: vehicular and pedestrian traffic, imperfections in terrain, suspicious persons, etc.
4.) Stay away from secluded, out of the way areas.
5.) Do not go onto private property unless and until you have received permission from the owner.
6.) Do not play while driving – there have been multiple reports nationwide of persons involved in traffic accidents while playing.
7.) If you witness any suspicious behavior, report it to the police immediately.

Edinboro University held their “First Boro Pokémon Go Night” at the University Sept. 3. Students and community gathered together around the campus to catch Pokémon and battle for gyms.

According to the event page on Facebook, lures were set up all over campus to help spawn better Pokémon. They had some rules for the event, including “be safe and keep an eye out for cars; no bullying; be respectful of those not playing Pokémon; don’t swipe gyms from people and have fun.”

Hileman said, “When safety precautions are followed, Pokémon Go can be very enjoyable, and our campus life staff has incorporated it into a number of activities. Pokémon Go lures were used at all mandatory events during possession and transportation of alcohol, as well for the inspection violation."

Sept. 13 — A student reported that while his vehicle was parked at the Pogue Student Center on Sept. 12, between 2:15 p.m. and 2:50 p.m., unknown individuals stole the front tire from his bicycle, which had been hanging from the back of his vehicle.

Welcome Weekend and continue to be used to draw students to events on campus now that the semester is underway.

Shellie Barbich, director of campus life and leadership development said, “Provided users are paying attention to where they are going and to their surroundings, it’s a wonderful way to encourage students to get outdoors and move around. During the Lemon-AID stands on the first day of classes, she observed a number of students choosing longer routes during their travels on campus in order to hit spots where they could gather Poké balls.”

“It’s something to do while you’re walking to class,” Sam Comi, early childhood education major, said.

In recent weeks, Niantic has developed some new additions to the game. The first addition is the Pokémon Go Appraisal feature, which helps trainers identify which Pokémon have the most potential for battle, according to the website.

The newest addition to the game is the buddy Pokémon feature which allows the trainer to pick their favorite Pokémon to become their buddy. This buddy Pokémon will follow your trainer around on screen and you will get awarded with candy for walking with them.

Niantic has released Pokémon Go Plus. It is a companion device for the game, which allows hands free playing through Bluetooth. Right now, it is available in limited quantities worldwide.

With the rate that Niantic has been releasing new features to the game since its inception, it’s clear Pokémon Go is here to stay for a while. 

Anna Ashcraft is a Managing Editor of Arts for The Spectator.

Tags: pokemon

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