“Pokémon Go” offers a new community activity

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Popular Pokéstops can be found near Moody Learning Center and the chemistry and geology building. There are 19 Pokéstops on campus. Photo by Wally Perez

Popular Pokéstops can be found near Moody Learning Center and the chemistry and geology building. There are 19 Pokéstops on campus. Photo by Wally Perez

Players can find an abundance of Pokéstops at this college and in surrounding neighborhood.

By Wally Perez

gperez239@student.alamo.edu

The nostalgia of Pokémon for kids who grew up in the 1990s has seen resurgence in the last few weeks with rising popularity of the mobile game “Pokémon Go,” which was released July 6.

Since then, it’s not uncommon for social media users to see posts on multiple social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, that relate to the game and the different kinds of Pokémon players have caught.

The game requires users to walk around and explore their outdoor surroundings to locate and catch the Pokémon that pop up on the map. With the use of the GPS signal on a cell phone, your character replicates your movement throughout your exploration, similar to the way Google Maps works.

“It’s a good way for people to get out in the community and it draws attention to places they may have never been to before,” Brandon Gonzalez, computer science sophomore at Northwest Vista College, said.

Gonzalez was catching Pokémon outside of Moody Learning Center while waiting for a friend to get out of class.

There are two types of locations marked on the map in the app; Pokéstops and gyms.

Pokéstops are areas where players can stock up on items for their exploration, such as pokéballs, potions and revives. In addition to items, players can also camp these locations for better chances to catch Pokémon.

“They’re gathering places for players, kind of like focal points,” Gonzalez said. “It seems like an attempt to highlight things in the community.”

There are 19 Pokéstops scattered around campus, with two at Moody Learning Center being among the most popular.

The other marked locations on maps are gyms, which are battle locations where players can fight for control of the location, similar to king of the hill.

Once a player reaches Level 5, they can choose one of three teams to join.

Team Valor, Team Mystic or Team Instinct. Once a player chooses a team, they get the option to battle at gyms and represent their team if they control it.

There are three gyms within walking distance of this campus, Hogwild Records, Temple Beth-El and San Pedro Springs Park.

“I haven’t attempted to battle at a gym yet, since my Pokémon aren’t strong enough,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve heard if you control a gym that you and your Pokémon can level faster.”

Gonzalez has been playing since the game’s release, but doesn’t actively go out in search of Pokémon on a daily basis.

“I’ve enjoyed it so far and I think it brings more positives than negatives,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said the way the game can bring people together and share a common interest in the outdoors was nice.

Gonzales said there was a recent post on social media where a man threatened to purge any “Pokémon Go” players he saw out and about with his paintball gun, when talking about some of the negatives.

Gonzalez hopes that a trading feature is implemented in the future, as he thinks it would be great to be able to trade with other players and acquire a variety of the 151 Pokémon listed in the game.

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