Pokemon Go! – Grown Men Fighting Over Ponies

By:  Tim Abrams.

Pokemon Go! has become a legend in the gaming community pretty much overnight. Since the game has been published, millions of players all over the world have experienced the interesting use of both a virtual world and the real one. I am no exception to this, I have been out every day since the game debuted, and even as I write this, it is open right in front of me. I have had some interesting experiences in the past week, so TMN wanted me to share some of my favorite moments.

First, you need to know that I am currently living in Wichita for the summer. That being said, there is way more Pokestops, more gyms and yes, different Pokemon than up in Hays. Although you would think the whole city of Wichita would be light up with stops and content, only two or three spots are really visited. One of which, is the Keeper of the Plains monument on the Arkansas river. That is where several of my best nights playing this revolutionary game occurred.

It was the third night after the game launched, Sunday, July 10th. It was my first time at the Keeper for about a year, and the first time being there since the game came out. My three friends and I parked and quickly noticed around 600 people walking around the monument and the immediate area. It was the golden hour (the time of day when the sun is about to set, and a nice red and violet skyline is visible) and it was around 90 degrees. But being by the river, it was very bearable. As we started to walk across the bridge we started to notice that everyone around us were staring at their phones. Almost all 600 people were playing with us, and catching everything around us.

As we walked we started to talk to people as we caught similar monsters. One time we noticed a Pokemon named Ivysaur appeared right in front of us. As soon as I noticed he appeared, I heard someone scream “IVYSAUR” and a slew of people started to run to our location. We were standing on a bridge, and for the first time in my life, I felt a bridge almost collapse underneath me. Luckily, the bridge was sturdy. A few people stopped next to us to try and catch the monster. I can never forget the look of total excitement when one of them caught it on their first try. We then started to compare each other’s catches and happily started to walk around the monument together.

Later that night, my group grabbed a bite of food after walking around the Keeper of the Plains. After sitting in the restaurant for a few minutes, we checked our phones to see even more Pokemon around us than before. We suddenly realized that it was weird for all these monster to be inside an Applebee’s and started to take mock pictures with them in several places. The picture below is one of the more appropriate pictures we took, but not the only one taken.

Jon Engels staring at Bellsprout
– Jon Engels of Wichita, KS, is definitely trying to catch em all! –

The next night around the Keeper of the Plains, I was trying to take a Pokemon gym on the monument and started to talk to a few people. I found out that the guy standing right next to me was the official Nintendo representative of the area, and he gave me a few insights into the game that I hadn’t heard of yet. Of course, he didn’t tell us anything secret, but he did wait for us to conquer the gym before he started to demolish it with his Pokemon. It only took him a few minutes, so I guess he knew something we didn’t.

Finally, I was walking around downtown Wichita one day with a friend and noticed we were passing a few people we knew. One of which, we really never see outside his house. We caught a few walk signals and started up a route with him. It was weird, I started to wonder how many people this game was getting to leave their houses – when suddenly we heard a strong voice yell “Ponyta over here!”. For those of you that don’t know, Ponyta is a fire Pokemon that is basically a pony. I don’t think I have ever seen so many grown men run towards a virtual pony before, but I bet it is not the first time this has happened in the last couple of years. It was pretty funny to see people run out of stores and coffee shops to try and catch a pony … and yes, I ran to catch the monster as well. You gotta catch em all!

Well, that was a few of my experiences while playing Pokemon Go!. If you want to know more about the game make sure to revisit tmn.fhsu.edu on Wednesday evening, when I will review the game. I will go into detail about gyms, poke stops, and even some more detail into what people are doing while playing the game.



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