Monday, July 18, 2016

Pokemon Mania at Vol State

Pokemon GO has swept the nation practically overnight. The new cell phone app is already being held responsible for two men falling off of a cliff in California, breaking up a relationship (though I’m sure there’s more to come), and a trespassing teen coming face to face with a dead body. Vol State student players insist that it’s a good thing, however – as long as you watch where you’re going.

“We’re out in the parking lot saying ‘hey man, whatcha got?’ ‘I gotta a Pikachu!’” laughs one man who asked to remain anonymous. “We’re not out here doing drugs. It’s bringing people together. It’s a good thing.”
Pokemon hunters have even been converging on Vol State campus. One laughingly tweeted about his run-in with campus police at one o’clock in the morning.

Two friends waging a friendly battle
on their smart phones
Pokemon hunters weren’t difficult to catch on campus. Several people were roaming the walkways, eyes glued to their phones, and I ran into a large group right outside of Ramer. More joined as we talked. There are “lures” placed in various parts of the Vol State Gallatin campus to attract the digital monsters, and two spots on campus that are known as “gyms”: basically a battle field for the captured Pokemon. Teens, adults, and even parents with children are wandering around the grounds in their quest to “catch them all”, a phenomena that some supporters contend is getting millions of people out of the house and into the sun.

As for the midnight hunts, Volunteer State Community College officials say that while the campus is open to the public during regular class hours, after hours it’s closed to both the general public and students. They ask that those searching for Pokemon be respectful and not trample flower beds or wander into off-limits construction zones.

Mr. Anonymous has one last piece of advice for his fellow Pokemon hunters. “Just be smart. Don’t mess this up for the rest of us. And watch where you’re going!”

Read Also: Pokemon on Campus - What You Need to Know

Gaynell Buffinet Payne is a writer, single mother, and student at Volunteer State Community College. She also blogs for Vol State's Returning Adult Learners.

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