Gotta catch ’em all

Student celebrates as he catches a Pokemon.

Sydney Smith

Student celebrates as he catches a Pokemon.

A crowd of teenagers glued to their phone screens walk past you down the narrow sidewalk in the park  whispering fanatically about ‘gym battles’ and ‘finding pikachu’. Most people would know instantly what a group like this is doing– playing the popular mobile video game Pokemon Go.

Since its release on July 6, Pokemon Go has continued to skyrocket in popularity among teens and young adults. It is an mobile video game that anyone can play alongside friends in order to track and catch Pokemon using real-world maps.

“While playing you get to travel around and go out with friends,” sophomore Julia Austin said. “It’s really a fun challenge to go out and find all the Pokemon that you want.”

Pokemon Go has many aspects besides just catching Pokemon. As a player of the game you join one of the the three team options: Team Instinct, Valor or Mystic, and with these teams you battle other team leaders. There are also Pokestops- or landmarks where you gather supplies to train and catch Pokemon.

“It was an experience. It was something to do while I was out,” sophomore Evan Howell said.“If you have a spare moment, get on that and see what’s around. See what’s popping.”

Pokemon cards and games hit an all time high in popularity in the early 2000’s, the time in which most teenagers of today grew up. Students who played the earlier video games love Pokemon Go for the nostalgia it holds. The game has the same ideas and characters from the past in an app that anyone can download on their phone for free.

“I grew up playing the Pokemon games on my gameboys and DS as a kid,” junior Garrett Brown said. “You’d always want to be able to catch Pokemon in real life, and this is like Nintendo giving back to their early on fans.”

It’s an augmented reality game, meaning a real-world environment with elements, like Pokemon, is supplemented on screen by computers. It incorporates the Pokemon into the everyday world through GPS technology.

“Augmented reality really has changed the way people play games,” senior Nelson Bond said. “Pokemon Go has taken augmented reality with real life situations and put it into a game that a lot of fans have endeared for a long time.”

As Pokemon Go gains more players, people wonder if it will become the future of videogaming. However, the game has only been out for a short time and could possibly be a passing fad.

“This isn’t really the style of video game that will stay around long,” Howell said. “I think it will be successful but I don’t think this will be the new norm.”