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Pokèmon NO…But Actually Yes



In the beginning, it was an excuse for others to uphold their colossal obsessions with technology and gaming. Now, it is a mindless escape from the realities of higher education and the workforce.

When Pokèmon Go introduced itself and its 151 Pokèmon, I did not give them my elevator pitch and tell them it was nice to meet them, too. I did not submit to their digital demeanors and I winced at the phrase “I’ve always wanted to be a Pokèmon trainer!”

Now that I am on level 11 (I know, I’m a Slowbro), you can be the first to tell me you told me so, even if you did not, because I originally detested the thought of any more reasons to be on my phone.

When I considered cell phones latched to our hands, divorces over read receipts, vision damage and car accidents via texting and driving, I realized the game really is just a small fish in the ocean of technology.  The truth is that we are going to use our phones regardless.

The bigger picture of Pokèmon Go, past the map screen and collection page, looks like evolution, imagination and adventure all tied into one.

John Hanke, the founder of Niantic Labs, originally worked for Google before making Tsunekazu Ishihara, the CEO of the Pokèmon company, his “buddy.” I prefer Eevee as my buddy, but to each his own.

Hanke evolved from a Google innovator into the master of the Pokèmon masters, partnered with Google Maps, and combined his professional talents with his creative passion for interactive gaming. Sounds like the American Dream to me, 2016 style. I offer nothing but respect to a professional who is working to give society a break from work.

The adventure portion of the picture speaks for itself. If you have not already explored the Pokèmon-filled lands of Salisbury, keep reading.

On Salisbury University’s campus itself, the beauty of the buildings, statues and stadium are now enhanced by creatures, whose names I cannot pronounce, appearing out of a digital vortex. The Queen of Wicomico statue is a devilish gym, but you can venture to University Park or the Fulton Hall fountain for more battles. I will leave the Pokèstops for you to find and also for me to forget to visit.

Downtown Salisbury’s infestation grows daily with Rattatas and Pidgeys, but the Valero stations nearby are known to hide Pikachus in the gas pumps. Aquatic Pokèmon like to swim near the Whitehaven and Upper Ferry’s, and the Salisbury Zoo animals are a little confused about the new exhibits.

If you do not play Pokèmon Go but you have other ways to zone out from the hot and heavy schedule that we call college, that’s perfectly okay. But as for Eevee and I, we are going to catch them all.

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