Pokémon Takes Over College Campuses

Pokémon Takes Over College Campuses
Susan Dutca-Lovell

College students are on a campus-wide hunt, trying to catch 'em all with the latest mobile app craze, Pokémon Go. The 1990s kids' card game laid low the past several years and now people of all ages are catching Pokémon fever - it's even on the brink of overtaking Twitter when it comes to daily usage. From bathroom, to office desk and on campus, fans are finally living the ultimate dream: having Pokémon come to life and inhabiting our world.

Pokémon Go lets players participate in an "augmented reality" that uses a smartphone's GPS to track players' locations and creates a virtual-Pokémon world on the screen. Players can view their physical surroundings as well as that of the Pokémon characters, and the goal is to catch them. Colleges seem to have caught the fever too and are embracing the trend. While focusing on campus safety and reminding students to pay attention to their surroundings, schools such as The University of Central Florida offered shuttle services to students who were playing Pokémon Go on campus during late hours. Some students have stayed out as late as 3 a.m. to play the game.

The buzz has "exploded" since last Thursday and according to Central Florida's campus police, "half of the community was tweeting about what was going on in Dallas; the other half was tweeting about Pokémon Go." Some believe that the game allows for even the most introverted, house body students to get out of their dorms and walk around campus, meet new people, and explore their campus. One student even went as far as claiming that students are "becoming more aware of things that are on campus because they have to walk to these different 'Poké Stops'."

Students aren't the only ones eager to play. College faculty like Samantha L. Jackson, a Coordinator for Academic-Advising Services at Central Florida is "currently on Level 10" and hopes to "level-up by the end of the day." Even the President of Wheaton College posted a photo on Instagram of a Poké Stop on his campus.

Pokémon Go is popular not only because it is easy to download, but also because it is free. If you have a passion for game design or computer science, check out our scholarships and download our FREE mobile app, too!

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