Pokémon GO was the craze to end Spring Semester 2016 with a bang. This mesmerizing game brings the next level of AR entertainment, where users can finally attempt to catch ‘em all. So what happened to it?
The BYU-Idaho campus used to be flooded with users catching anything from a Pidgey to a Charizard. Scroll published an article titled “BYU-I Chooses You, Pokémon GO” on July 11, 2016, written by Katie Hildreth.
“When it first came out, everyone was out walking,” said Abigail Lawson, then a junior studying art, according to the article. “Everyone had congregated in this area, and there were 50 people.” So where did all the players go?
Michael Muir, a junior studying computer information technology, has grown accustomed to this fascinating game, and is currently at level 32. He even started a Facebook page titled “Pokémon GO Rexburg Idaho” to share the love of Pokémon which currently has around 450 members.
Muir said the Thomas E. Ricks Demonstration Gardens on campus were packed within the first couple of months of the release of Pokémon GO.
“When it first came out, I met a lot of interesting people and made some new friends,” Muir said.
However, Muir said the main con with Pokémon GO is the people.
“The people were not considerate to the landscape or the structures that were around them in the Gardens and beat them up pretty badly,” Muir said. “I drove from Utah back to Rexburg one night, and I saw people being escorted off of campus by security for playing Pokémon GO past curfew.”
In fact, Pokémon GO became so popular from its release that a Student Advisory email was sent out on Tuesday, July 19, encouraging students to be careful when playing.
“Students and employees who choose to utilize the Pokémon GO app across campus are advised to be very aware of their surroundings to prevent injury to self or others as well as damage to campus property,” the email states. “Please be cautious and considerate of others if you choose to participate in this activity.”
Several students have decreased their pursue of Pokémon GO since July 2016, including Nate Ahart, a junior studying accounting.
“When it first came out, I thought it was a lot of fun, and I loved just walking around and meeting new people,” Ahart said. “I would go to campus and sit on the benches in the Gardens and just relax while I caught Pokémon.”
However, Ahart said he stopped playing due to it not having the same feel as other versions, such as Red or Blue, and the time commitment required.
“As in life, anything that one focuses on too much can become a problem,” Ahart said. “Instead of pursuing our education, we are wasting our money on our education.”
Ahart said Pokémon GO can be a beneficial experience, as long as caution is taken.
“I feel that Pokémon GO isn’t all bad; if it can get you out socializing, seeing nature, and exercising, that is not bad,” Ahart said. “I am glad people are getting out. Just don’t drive and catch Pokémon.”
Though the numbers are few, there are still Pokémon experts showing their talents with a flick of the index finger to land the perfect PokéBall throw and marveling at the majestic creature inside.