If you have ever stayed in East Lansing during the summer, you know how dead campus is. East Lansing seems like a ghost town. Many students at Michigan State either spend their summer abroad, doing internships or returning to their hometown. The streets are fairly empty and many local businesses take a hit. This changed when Pokémon Go was released. The campus that was dead a few weeks ago, has become alive again.
I was convinced by my boyfriend to download the game on July 8. I had seen people tweeting about the app but I honestly wouldn’t have downloaded it if it wasn’t for him. When I first downloaded the app, I was confused but impressed. I had no idea how to play or catch the Squirtle that had appeared in my living room. The tutorial wasn’t very explanatory so you pretty much learn to play as you go. The platform for the app was unlike any other game I had played before. Completely mapping the entire United States, and soon other countries, must have taken forever. The detailing is impressive and the app is definitely paving the way for the use of Augmented Reality.
One night, a Pokémon popped up on the “nearby” list so we decided to venture into campus. I was NOT expecting the amount of people also looking for Pokémon. There were more people than I had seen in East Lansing all summer on campus playing the game. People were helping each other find rare Pokémon, conversing with strangers AND getting exercise. Seriously, we walked seven miles one day just playing the game. People of all different demographics are getting along and bonding over a common interest like I have never seen before. Instead of going to the bar or sitting inside people are out searching for Pokémon. In the heat of everything going on in society, it was really awesome to experience such togetherness. Who would have thought Pokémon would be bringing people together?