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‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All!’: Pokémon GO At Penn State

Pokémon GO was recently released in the United States and has since taken the country by storm. With nothing more than a smartphone and 100MB of storage space, you can live out your childhood dream of becoming a Pokémaster.

With a university as large and beautiful as ours, Penn State has no shortage of various of Pokémon wandering around campus and downtown as well as numerous Poké stops to replenish your Poké balls and a number of gyms to battle and claim.

As one of the resident nerds on staff, I was ecstatic when the game was released and more so when I walked into the world of Pokémon in Happy Valley. Not long after I ventured outside with my phone and external battery I discovered that Pokémon have been hiding throughout campus all along and people are playing the game everywhere.

One of my first stops was Old Main Lawn, and it seems like everyone else had the same idea as the lawn seems to have become a notable place for trainers to meet up and play.

Steffen Blanco

Steffen Blanco

With three different Poké stops in between Old Main and the flag poles, I’ve caught many different types of Pokémon such as this little iconic fellow below.

Photo Jul 10, 8 36 20 PM

steffen blanco

In similar fashion, trainers are also flocking to the HUB. With the HUB Lawn back in action, many people can be seen frolicking running around in pursuit of an Eevee or a Pikachu. I managed to snag Magikarp and Goldeen in front of the Osmond fountain and on my way back inside I even got a Staryu.

steffen blanco

Pokemon Go Penn StPhoto Jul 10, 1 47 49 PM

After doing my daily charge up in the HUB, I looped back around to check out what the duck pond has to offer. Ducks and freshmen weren’t the only creatures roaming about, as I found an Eevee by the meadows and a Hitmonlee in the grassy area by Hintz. Pokemon Go Penn StatePhoto Jul 10, 4 19 01 PM

Once I finished up at the duck pond, I decided to try my luck downtown to see if I’d get anything interesting to spawn other than Weedle or Pidgey (at this point I’ve transferred more than 200 of both to Professor Willow). As I was walking down Beaver, I saw Squirtle outside of Triangle fraternity and even a Venonat in the middle of road by Canyon Pizza.

Pokemon Go Penn StatePokemon Go Penn State

At this point, I was tired of walking around everywhere so I went back to my apartment and got my car. I took a quick trip to Walmart because I heard there were a lot of Eevee roaming the aisles. After an hour of grocery shopping/playing Pokémon GO, I unfortunately have to confirm that Walmart has Rat…tatta (sorry for the bad Poké puns)

Photo Jul 09, 5 55 03 PM

On the way back from Walmart I decided to stop by the Lion Shrine in an attempt to take the Gym point there. Unfortunately due to an ongoing game glitch, my attempts were for naught. I did however get to snap this.

Photo Jul 10, 9 09 38 PM

This was a small snippet of my journey through the newly established Pokémon world at Penn State. Campus has been a little more lively than usual for this time of year as people walk around phone-in-hand, capturing Pokémon, and sharing experiences as they play the game. Throughout the day you can hear people asking one another what team they’re on (Valor, Mystic, or Instinct) and the cheering/booing as groups attempt to capture/defend a gym for their respective team in the ongoing battle for campus.

Pokémon GO has merged virtual reality with the real world and given grown adults the opportunity to live out their childhood dreams of becoming the very best (like no one ever was). Best of luck and be sure to watch where you’re going on your journey to becoming a Pokémon master.


Photo Jul 09, 11 05 23 PM


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About the Author

Steffen Blanco

Steffen is a senior majoring in Criminology & Sociology and hails from East Stroudsburg, PA (Poconos). When he's not taking photos, you can find him at either the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, taking long walks with his Pokemon, or playing video games (League/Overwatch) Just follow him on Twitter/Instagram (@SteffenBlanco) or shoot an email to [email protected] if you have any questions.


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