Pokémon GO club brings together students, faculty

Photo by Jo Tabacek

Over three years after Pokémon GO was first released, the game is still popular at Lewis & Clark due to the Pokémon GO club. The club has over 30 active members, including students, faculty, staff and alumni.

For club President Hannah Posey-Scholl ’20 and Vice President Kaitlin Wise-Carter ’20, the communal aspect is one of their favorite parts of the club and is the reason they still play the game regularly.

“I probably wouldn’t still be playing (Pokémon GO) if we didn’t have this community here, because we have a really good community,” Wise-Carter said. 

The Pokémon GO club brings together many different groups on campus, which Posey-Scholl appreciates.

“I like that (the club) connects very different types of people around campus,” Posey-Scholl said. “We have current students, we have alumni, we have faculty and we have staff all in our Pokémon GO community here on campus.”

Many of the club’s members work in the IT department, which Posey-Scholl believes is an advantage for both the IT staff and students.

“A large part of our community are people who work in IT, so that kind of helps (staff) get to know students and helps students get to know them … (and) those resources are more accessible on campus, so that makes me happy as someone who does work in IT,” Posey-Scholl said.

Posey-Scholl has also used Pokémon GO as a way to connect with people outside of LC while traveling and studying abroad.

“I did a semester in Washington D.C., and … my friend group was all focused around Pokémon GO,” Posey-Scholl said. “Also, (when) my family went abroad together last spring, we went to Spain and … went to the southern tip of Spain specifically to catch the Africa regional Pokémon because you can get them from there. We (also) did a raid with some people who lived there. At this point, having had those experiences in Spain and in D.C., I am fairly confident that I can make friends almost anywhere in the world thanks to this game, and it’s amazing.”

Posey-Scholl has been a life-long Pokémon fan.

“All of my oldest memories are of Pokémon things,” Posey-Scholl said. “My very oldest memory is of spinning a Clefairy top that was from Burger King from when the first (Pokémon) movie came out.”

Wise-Carter has also been a Pokémon fan since a young age and continues to be dedicated to playing the games.

“I’ve played most if not all of the games since (Pokémon) Ruby, which was my first game,” Wise-Carter said. “I’ve been very consistently playing Pokémon GO since it came out.”

The Pokémon GO club regularly communicates on their Discord server and gets together for weekly events such as raids. Last month, the club got together to try to perform an EX raid, which is a timed event that happens at certain gym locations where an extra-rare legendary Pokémon may appear.

“Usually the gyms that can host these EX raids are in parks, which means that the closest ones to (LC) are half an hour into Tryon,” Posey-Scholl said. “We got 14 people together and went on a hike half an hour into Tryon to do four gym raids on a Tuesday evening. We did not succeed at prompting the EX raid, probably because we didn’t have 20 people. If we had had 20 people (we) would have succeeded.”

The club is hosting an event at 7 p.m. in the Trail Room today, Friday, Nov. 15 in partnership with LC’s Gaming Society to celebrate the release of the new main-series Pokémon games, Pokémon Sword and Shield. There will be snacks, music, stickers and Pokémon games available to play for those who attend.

“I’m going to have my (Nintendo) Switch with the game and we’re going to have Pokémon music playing and some stickers that have … a Pokémon Lewis & Clark logo that I made,” Posey-Scholl said. “I am (also) going to have the Nintendo Switch from IT checked out, and I’m going to get a copy of Pokémon Sword and Shield for IT so that people can just play it in general, even if they don’t have a (Nintendo) Switch.”

If you would like to join the Pokémon GO club, email pokémongo@lclark.edu for more information.

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