Pokémon Go: Just a Summer Fad?


Jessica Klees, Copy Editor

Is Pokémon Go dead? That is the question people seem to be asking. With the beginning of the school year, popularity is on a sharp decline for this character-catching game. It was the top-grossing app on the App Store for over two months, but was recently robbed of that title.

Pokémon Go held public interest over the summer, then lost much of its support after the first couple of months. But some students still have strong opinions about the game.

According to junior Spencer Burtnett, the original Pokémon games were better. He claims that “you love it after the first month you play it,” then it can get dull. Other students are disappointed that the game doesn’t meet our childhood expectations about what Pokémon would be like if it were “real.”

Another concern is that the game is too dangerous to be fun to play. “A lot of people have died or gotten injured,” said Lauren Davis, a sophomore. “It takes you to a lot of places that you wouldn’t normally go just because you want to get the Eevee or the Pikachu.”

Davis is worried about people being overwhelmed because churches are recently being turned into houses and “Churches are PokéStops, and if you’re living there and you have no clue what’s going on and there’s a bunch of teenagers sitting outside your house, you can get a little worried. It’s an odd concept. It’s a good concept, I just feel like it could be less dangerous.”

Senior Ashley Huseboe has a different opinion about the game because she came up with the idea of creating a Pokémon Go club at Western. Fellow seniors Megan Daffern, Sam Anderson, and Lauren Gangle were excited by it and decided to help Huseboe lead the group.

What does Huseboe like so much about the app that she decided to create a club about it? “Well, it gave me something to do, and I’ve actually walked over 200k the past couple months just playing it. So it’s helped me get out and be active. And also, it was a popular thing, so it was kind of fun to just jump in and have a bunch of other people doing it. It’s interactive.”

Huseboe had some interesting experiences while on her adventures. “I met somebody that got bitten by a copperhead. I was at a PokéStop and he was sitting there too, and he had a big, purple bump on his hand. And I was like, that was kind of cool, to talk to him about his experience.” Apparently, he was fine afterwards.

The first meeting of the Pokémon Go Club was on, September 30th. The members decided to make plans to start getting together to catch Pokémon sometime in the future.

“I hope people can make really good friends just doing stuff that they love,” Lauren Gangle, leader of the group, commented. “That’s something that I enjoy, and that’s how I got closer with Sam, and Megan, and Ashley. We’ll just drive around catching Pokémon and having so much fun.”

The question is whether the app will still keep people entertained during the busy school year, and for how long.  Gangle hopes that it will still be popular after students have time to play it more regularly again.

“I think it’s only dead because it’s school time, and everyone’s running around trying to get their homework done. In the end, probably by the summer, everyone’s going to be like, ‘Pokémon!’ all over again. That’s what I’m hoping for.”

With other old-school games–such as the new Super Mario app that will be released soon–coming onto mobile, it’s hard to tell whether Pokémon Go can stand the test of time. But for now, it can be a fun way to ease boredom and ignore homework.