July 25, 2021

Still trying to catch ‘em all?

This was the summer of Pokémon but dedicated NCC students continue to play in the fall semester.

“I consider myself one of the more hardcore Pokémon players. As a kid, I did this in a 2-D world. Now they’re telling me I can do this in a 3-D world,” said fourth-semester Radio/TV major Andrew Trumbore, who has played Pokémon games since the ‘90s.

The free-to-play game glued the eyes of both new and old-school trainers to their cellphones as they wandered through the streets, searching for characters to fill their time. The game shattered app records, was downloaded by millions of users in the United States and has encouraged people to get off the couch and exercise.

Trumbore, who has an outstanding 110 Pokémon registered in his Pokédex, felt excited about the upcoming updates.

“With [introducing] battling and trading, you have that ability to acquire everything you don’t have,” he said, “You have a way to interact with people instead of just putting your Pokémon in a gym. It’s going more into the original game aspect of face-to-face battling, trading and interacting.”

Wandering around campus, you might be flooded with a sea of Pidgey, Spearow, Rattata, and Paras. The names Valor, Mystic or Instinct ring through the hall as students compete to win the campus Pokémon gym for their designated team. As an added bonus, NCC contains many pokéstops where users can pick up pokéballs, potions and revives between classes to help progress in the game. This is helpful for players without pokéstop locations at home.

Third-semester Criminal Justice major Patrick Nuttall said he spent his summer playing the game as well.

“If you’re a die-hard Pokémon fan, it’s a brand-new experience and you have the desire to get into it,” he said. “It could be an obsession but it’s a healthy one. You’re fulfilling your own needs for it and that will make you happy as a person.”

With any smartphone fad comes a period where interest wanes. Arstechnica.com reported in August that the game had lost more than 10 million users since the release of the app. Data consumption, repetition and dead cellphone batteries prompted some users to bid farewell to the game.

“I think with it being a craze, some people will jump on it because it’s such a widely popular thing,” said Nuttall, who holds onto hope for upcoming features.

“It brings people together. With the teams, you can automatically meet somebody from your team and become buddies. Overall, it depends on your fancy. If you’re willing to brave the heat to hatch eggs, you have a chance to really catch them all.”

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