Pokémon Go Trainers Trying to Catch’ Em All


People everywhere are walking around with their phones

By Emiliana Cardinale, Production Manager

All around the world, no matter where you go, you can see people wandering while staring down at their phones trying to catch ‘em all.

Pokémon Go is a GPS based, augmented reality game in which players can essentially find virtual creatures, called Pokémon, in the real world. Players walk around their area. When a Pokémon is “in range,” the player can “catch” them using pokeballs. The Pokémon will pop up on the phone screen, but the background will be the landmark one is standing on. The player then virtually aims a “pokeball” at the Pokémon to successfully catch it.

As one catches Pokémon, they are also able to explore cities and landmarks which are “pokestops” in the game, locations at which one can earn pokeballs and other prizes.

“I think it’s kind of fun to have something you share with so many people,” said photography teacher Amy Gilbert who has been playing since the game came out. “You can talk to almost anybody about it, even if it’s somebody that hasn’t played it.”

Not only is the game a talking point, it is also a tool for socializing because it allows players to interact with each other in the real world while playing a virtual game.

“People are getting outside and socializing because catching Pokémon and especially battling involves face to face contact,” senior Eowyn Pak said. “I know Pokémon Go works in terms of getting people to meet new people, and that is a great thing.”

Pokémon Go allows people to exercise while also playing a game. To find Pokémon, players need to leave the house and explore the towns and cities in which they live. They also have to walk in order to “hatch their eggs” and get more Pokémon.

“It makes me go out and exercise,” Gilbert said. “There’s a place near my house where I can go out and walk all around and hit a whole bunch of Poke-stops. I get some exercise, I hatch my eggs and I catch some Pokémon.”

The Pokémon craze has been around for a very long time in the form of comics, a TV show, and trading cards. This game allows many millennials to reconnect to that interest they had as a kid.

“I’ve been a fan of Pokémon as long as I can remember,” senior Vicente Rudolph said. “I was always a fan of the video games and TV show as a kid.”

Despite the health benefits and nostalgia it brings, Pokémon Go may simply add to the lack of socialization that some feel is prominent in today’s society.

“Even though people are going outside more, exercising and doing it with their friends, it is just another reason to be on your phone,” sophomore Bettina Saraydaroglu said, who doesn’t play the game.

It can be also simply another distraction in our society of non-stop media consumption.

“Pokemon go can be fun, but has taken valuable time that should be used for studies, getting some extracurricular work done and college apps,” Pak said.

Pokémon Go can also be disruptive and used in inappropriate places or at inappropriate times. It is a game that can become addictive and can lead to players using it in a disrespectful manner.

According to a July 12 Washington Post article, The Holocaust Museum is a Pokestop, and because of this, many players attempted to catch Pokémon inside of the museum. This can be disrespectful towards the museum, a place meant to remember the tragedies of the Holocaust.

Although according to Pak, Pokémon Go has left a positive mark on the community by helping businesses get more customers, motivating people to get out of the house, and more.

“I have heard some pretty good stories about Pokémon,” Pak said. “An animal shelter used its free wifi to have volunteers walk their animals around the neighborhood.”