Pokemon conquer campus: The new app “Pokemon Go” allows students to get active and branch out

As part of the app, trainers are able to take pictures of the Pokemon in the real world.

The latest popular culture trend, “Pokemon Go,” is taking over campus. Crowds of people can be seen outside hot spots, like Juniper-Poplar (JP) residence hall and the Marshal Student Center, catching, training and battling with the creatures for hours.

According to a survey taken by the Oracle on the USF Class Facebook pages, 127 out of the 194 students polled (65 percent)  are actively playing.

“Sometimes, I’m with my friends walking around and trying to get Pokemon,” Onur Oktayer, a sophomore majoring in business, said. “Sometimes I’m really bored and none of my friends want to do it with me, so I go walk around on my own.”

“Pokemon Go” is an interactive app that allows the player to become a Pokemon trainer by bringing the beasts into the real world. As players move around in the real world, they’ll come across Pokemon within the app that they can capture. Landmarks serve as important spots to collect Pokeballs and other treasures that players can use to attract more Pokemon.

The system is based on one made by Google in 2013 called Ingress which focused on the concept of energy leaking through landmarks that two teams battle to control. However, “Pokemon Go” has proven to be far more popular.

“I think it’s really big with our generation and people a little bit older than us,” Jessica Korray, a junior majoring in nursing, said. “We grew up playing (Pokemon). Also, actually getting to walk around and go ‘Oh look, there’s a Pokemon, lets catch it.’ It’s like the addictive aspect of a video game and also outside fun and companionship.”

While some are jumping on the bandwagon and playing occasionally, others take the game far more seriously.

“For me, I’ve been a fan since I was three, I grew up with it,” Alex Aguirre, a senior majoring in biomedical science, said. “Ever since (we) started watching the show, playing the game, all we’ve ever wanted to do is catch them.”

One of the main motivations behind the game was to get people more active. However, it’s also causing a change in social interaction by serving as a point of conversation for strangers.

“I don’t know if it’s like deep friendships,” Korray said. “It’s made people friendlier on campus. Friendships are a little more in depth and you have to sit there and be like ‘Hey, do you want to go to JP together?’ and that’s really how you make a friendship with it.”