There are a surprising number of people wandering the campus in July. Is it because of Honors Symposium? Maybe summer session? Or is it Pokémon Go? My experience suggests the latter as an explanation for the increased foot traffic on campus these last few days.
I’ve been hooked since downloading Pokémon Go on Thursday, and campus has turned out to be one of the best places to play for a few reasons.
From dorms and academic buildings to Uncle Bud and the McInteer Fountain, there are Poké Stops everywhere. When playing on campus, you won’t have to miss catching a Snorlax by the Student Center clock because you ran out of Poké balls. When you get tired of trekking all over campus, set a lure at the Poké Stop right next to your dorm and reap the rewards without leaving your room.
With five Pokémon gyms on campus, there are plenty of places to stake a claim for your team. Over the past few days, I’ve seen all of them shift to blue, red, yellow and back again. Now that it’s a Pokémon gym, people may finally know where to find the Lee Building!
My favorite part of Pokémon on campus is the sort of community that it has formed. Wherever you are playing Pokémon Go, you have likely experienced this same sort of kinsmanship with other trainers. There’s some kind of affirmation when you all show up at the same hot spot (between Cone Hall and Harbin Hall), when you draw a crowd of 50 to a cluster of lures by the Lily Pond, or when you wander past a stranger and he knows exactly what you’re looking for — “Eevee is just around that corner.”
There are plenty of other Searcy locations for Pokémon trainers like the courthouse square or Berryhill Park, but none are quite as vast as Harding’s campus. Some are saying that the novelty of the game will have worn off by the time students arrive for the fall semester, but I disagree. Truly, playing on campus is a sort of novelty in itself. And as for the dedicated trainers, it may be well into the school year before we catch them all.
Shelby Dias, director of news services