By Lucas Augustine
Since early July, people have been exploring cities and towns all over the world in search of little digital monsters called Pokémon. Pokémon Go even has Bluffton students searching all over campus for the tiny digital monsters.
Pokémon Go is an app where people can catch the Pokémon they know and love from the video and card games they played as children. Pokémon Go allows players who are walking around to put Pokémon in gyms. Once there, the Pokémon can battle and even earn them coins, which can be used in the in app store. In game, there are also locations that have been marked as PokéStops, which are used to get free PokéBalls and healing potions for your Pokémon. Bluffton University has 13 PokéStops across campus and one gym at Mosiman Hall.
The game has drawn quite a following, and senior John Eckenrode is among those playing at Bluffton.
“I play Pokémon and enjoy Pokémon Go because it allows me to explore new places like parks and cities,” he said. “It has taken me to many cool places in big cities like Columbus.”
Eckenrode is currently a level 28 and is a member of Team Valor in the game.
Another on-campus group who enjoys the game are the members of the newly founded Bluffton University Gaming Club.
“As part of the gaming club, I text a ton of people who I know play as well and we go on Poké hunts together and we also have a friendly rivalry since many of us are on different teams,” said Aaron Ward, a senior student leader for the Gaming Club.
Ward, a member of Team Mystic, has been playing for two months and is level 21. He encourages all players to be careful when playing because of the potential for accidents when players fail to be mindful of their surroundings. There have even been reports of people being clipped by cars and even walking off cliffs while playing Pokémon Go because they were more focused on the game than their surroundings.
Students interested in joining the Bluffton University Gaming Club’s PokéHunts may contact Ward for more information.