Pokémon Go brings surge in mobile gaming to KSU


The Rock on Kent State’s main campus sits spray painted with the Pokemon tag line “gotta catch ’em all” on its surface on Wednesday, July 13, 2016. 

Rich Egnot

It’s clear to many social media users, “Pokemon Go” is the hottest thing in mobile gaming.

The game, which has users go outdoors in search of digital creatures via augmented reality gameplay, has topped 15 million downloads in only a few weeks.

Vox deemed the app “the greatest unintentional health fad ever.”

Patrick Brett, the league owner of the official Play! Pokemon league, works in correlation with the Kent State Pokemon League.

“It’s definitively made the summer way more social,” Brett said. “Since ‘Go’ came out, our Facebook group has gained at least three to five new members a day … people talking about where the hottest catch is or … meeting up and placing a lure at a Pokestop.”

While the game is designed for entertainment, caution is urged in the stories of some players who find themselves in unexpected—and sometimes dangerous—situations.

CNN reported the story of a 19-year-old Wyoming woman who found a dead body near a river while playing the game. Other accounts of car accidents and security concerns caused by app use have tallied up, as well.

Though reports of hazardous scenarios continue to be released, many gamers are thrilled with the game, particularly those who grew up trading Pokemon cards.

“It is how people from our generation are able to relive our childhood and still be able to be active and get outside,” said Jacob Thompson, a senior journalism major at Kent State.

Rachell Basham, a resident of Chesterland and frequent visitor to Kent, expressed her enthusiasm for the game’s physical aspects.

As the game gains new fans on an almost daily basis and has been declared the biggest mobile game in U.S. history, gamers are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings, have fun, and “catch ‘em all.”

Rich Egnot is an entertainment reporter.