UVic students can’t get enough of Pokémon Go

Campus News

Pokémon Go may not technically be available in Canada just yet, but that hasn’t stopped dedicated UVic trainers from downloading the app and hitting campus in search of Pokémon anyway.

A quick primer in case your social media has been filled people referencing a property you haven’t paid any mind since 1998: Pokémon Go is a free mobile app developed by Niantic and published by Nintendo that just released for iOS and Android devices in the US and Australia. (There are a couple of workarounds for Canadian players who want to snag the game early, including registering an iTunes account in a different country.)

The game is a barebones simplification of the core Pokémon gameplay experience, i.e. catching monsters with special abilities and pitting them against one another in battle. The main draw, though, is Pokémon Go’s use of augmented reality, GPS, and your phone’s camera to simulate the experience of catching Pokémon in the real world. It’s a lot like geocaching without the crushing disappointment of finding a lame trinket after the hassle of crawling through bushes.

And people are going apeshit over it.

Take a look at the game’s map of UVic campus and you’ll see numerous icons marking the location of Pokéstops (digital shops tied to real-world locations where you can snag items including Pokéballs, potions, and the like), and a handful of gyms (which are claimed by trainers based on a team they align with beforehand), one of which is right in front of the McPherson Library.

There’s also a dedicated Pokémon Go thread on the UVic subreddit.

And if you take a stroll through campus this week to any of the marked locations on the game’s map, you’re bound to see other UVic students doing the same, especially if someone uses one of the games’ lure items to draw Pokémon to a particular location.

One devilish individual even set up a lure at Felicita’s, though the Martlet did not confirm if this was a marketing ploy by the UVSS.

Speaking of, the UVSS got in on the action as well on Monday, as Director of Finance & Operations Kevin Tupper tweeted a series of photos taken throughout the day showing board members with various Pokémon.

The app’s days are still early, but with the official Canadian release coming soon, it’s only a matter of time before Pokéfever explodes more than it already has.

In the meantime, UVic students will continue fighting to be the very best like no one ever was.

The Martlet will update with more Pokémon news as it comes.