News Jul 8th 2016

Pokemon Go Is Causing Problems in Colleges

Pokemon Pikachu

Despite the fact that Pokemon Go is a children's game, it is becoming more and more popular with college students. One of the theories as to why is for nostalgia. After all, the college students today were playing Pokemon a few years ago are in college now. The Pokemon craze has eased off significantly over the last few years, but the new Pokemon Go craze has rekindled student's love for Pokemon.

Traffic Problems and College Students

The campus staff at the University of Wisconsin received phone calls from concerned drivers and pedestrians when a group of cyclists were weaving in and out of traffic with their heads down, looking at their phones. The fact was that they were playing Pokemon Go.

It is not just the University of Wisconsin that is having trouble. Problems are arising all over the country, with children wandering off alone, to students being locked in college grounds at night because they were too busy playing with their phones. People may appear aimless or just plain strange, but they are playing a game where you hunt Pokemon creatures in the real world. The game augments reality and adds in Pokemon pocket monsters that people may catch.

An Augmented Reality Game

Pokemon Go is all about collecting pocket monsters in round balls. The game uses its mapping technology and your phone's GPS to alter your reality through your phone. You have to search out Pokemon creatures in the real world, and capture them using your phone. It can be a little weird seeing kids and adults standing on the street slowly panning their phone around. There are also places where children and students are congregating, such as PokeStops, where they are able to refill their supplies. This has also led to groups of people standing around and looking at their phones.

Colleges Want to Get in On the Action

Some colleges have been encouraging students to post their Pokemon screenshots to social media because it helps to show off their college campus and grounds to other students. Some colleges are also taking extra steps to ensure the safety of their students. For example, some are offering late-night escorts to cars and such, not because students are staying late studying, but because students are staying late hunting for Pokemon on their grounds (makes you sorry to live in this country doesn't it).

The University of Central Florida's police department has been advertising a similar service to students via Twitter to help them get back to their cars safely after a tough night of campus Pokemon hunting. Ms. Gilmartin says Dallas has a similar problem with students playing Pokemon Go until 3am in the morning. Ms. Jackson, at Central Florida, is happy about the trend. She says that her students visiting Poke Stops has helped them get out of their dorm rooms and recognize just how much their college has to offer. She is also happy to see more students out and about. Dennis M. Hanno, the president of Wheaton College in Massachusetts, has tried to encourage students into his college with his photo image of a Poke Stop on his campus.

Do Colleges Have Pokemon in Them?

The Pokemon Go game places Poke Stops in public places and Pokemon creatures in public areas. The developers took a look at the map and of all the landmarks in the US and assigned creatures and Pokemon stops to most of them. College campuses are public places, so Pokemon may appear, and many of them either are landmarks themselves, or have landmarks on their grounds, which is why Poke Stops and battle areas and spawned near them. The proximity of Pokemon Go related creatures and features is probably adding fuel to the fire of this new college trend.

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