Pokémon GO takes over Cedarville?

by Daine Halsey

Pokémon GO came out in 2016, and it was a huge hit. Lots of people were intrigued by the new virtual world that it offered. It was hard to go anywhere without seeing the majority of people looking down at their phone trying to “catch ‘em all.”

However, for most people, this was just a fad. They joined the trend, but once the hype dissipated, they deleted the app and never thought about it again. But, for others it became a hobby. In fact, it became more than a hobby; it became a life-style. Pokémon GO out-birthed a community of loyal, never-ending trainers with one goal: “To be the very best like no one ever was.”

After I long removed the app from my phone, I was brought back to the fond memories of Pokémon GO. Thus, I decided to redownload the app and see where I left off. To my surprise, Pokémon GO made huge strides and many updates. It was almost a completely different game. I quickly learned that I was not the only one still playing this game at Cedarville.

While talking to a friend about my recent venture back into the Pokémon GO app, he informed me that there is a Facebook Messenger group chat full of student and alumni trainers who play on campus. I joined the group chat and found that 92 people were in this messenger chat. Yet, these are not the only Pokémon players on campus. I have also seen many other players just roaming around campus.

The chat was originally a Facebook group that was converted into a Facebook Messenger about five years ago, around the time of Pokémon GO’s immense popularity. As the years have gone by, students have come and gone, but the Pokémon GO legacy at Cedarville has continued since the game started. 

One of the members of the Facebook messenger is a fellow student and SGA band leader, Matthew Pettus. He first began playing Pokémon GO his freshman year as a means to bond with the members of his Heartsong team.That same year, Matthew worked at a Christian summer camp. Pokémon GO became a way that Matthew was able to connect with the students who were addicted to the game. The game even inspired Matthew to travel and visit more unique locations. In Matthew’s own words, “12/10 would recommend.”

Cedarville is the perfect place to play. There are four gyms sprinkled throughout campus, all in reasonable distance from each other, that players can battle and take over. Also, the campus hosts 13 pokéstops that can be used for obtaining more pokéballs and other trainer supplies. Most of these stops are centered around the lake, attached to the buildings that students are constantly traveling to. Pokémon players can stock up on supplies wherever they are.

With a smaller campus that is centered around walking, it makes it an excellent place for trainers to play on the “go.” I know for me, Pokémon GO is perfect to play whenever I’m walking to class, waiting in line at Chick-Fil-A or just sitting in class. The unique mobile game, Pokémon GO, has allowed Cedarville students to grow in their social life, life experience and even their ministries.

With Pokémon GO constantly updating and adding new aspects to the game, along with the perfect atmosphere campus has to offer, it seems that this community will continue to invade the streets–or rather the sidewalks–of Cedarville University. So, next time you see someone looking down at their phone, they might just be trying to “catch ‘em all.”

Daine Halsey is a Junior Biblical Studies Accelerated major and a journalist for Campus News and Arts and Entertainment for Cedars. Daine loves to play guitar, read, hit the gym and spend quality time with his friends and family.

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