Walk around the Saint Paul Campus and you’ll see a few familiar sights—bumble bees buzzing around the flower garden outside Founders Hall, the sun shining through the flags in New Main, a Zubat flapping around the library… well, that last one only applies if you’re playing the new augmented reality game, Pokémon Go. Released on July 6, the game has already reached 15 million downloads and has surpassed Facebook and Twitter in daily use. So, what is it?
In the Pokémon world, based on the original games released in the 1990s, trainers travel the world to catch critters called Pokémon and use them to fight each other. The trainer’s goal is to become a master by defeating other trainers and their Pokémon. The franchise produced multiple video games, trading cards, an anime series, films, board games and an endless number of toys.
Now 20 years later, Pokémon Go blends the real world with the game world and uses your phone’s GPS to determine when a wild Pokémon will appear on your screen through your camera. Along the way you’ll find Pokéstops, locations where you can pick up supplies (stops refresh every five minutes). Once you’ve caught some Pokémon and trained them (by spending ‘candy’ you get during game play) it’s time to take them to the Gym to battle.
The game itself is free and it’s possible to get everything you need without spending a dime. However, you can purchase extra supplies and lures to draw Pokémon to you. When a Pokéstop is covered in falling hearts, someone has placed a Lure Module on it and Pokémon will flock to any player near it.
If you’re at the Saint Paul Campus, you may have already seen groups of people wandering around looking down at their phones. College campuses are hot spots of in-game activity and Metropolitan State isn’t any different. Metro hosts seven Pokéstops and one Gym (with another nearby at First Lutheran Church) and within days of the game’s release, swarms of hearts surrounded the campus as players put Lure Modules out.
The best spot for catching Pokémon at Metro State is the Labyrinth and Reflective Garden next to the Library and Learning Center. The area holds two Pokéstops and the Gym, making it the perfect place to hang out and work on being the very best.
Not at the Saint Paul Campus? Not to worry. The Midway Center has two Pokéstops at the East and West entrances with a Gym across the street and the Minneapolis Campus is covered in them. The Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Education Center also has a Pokéstop with a Gym nearby.
Whichever campus you visit to catch Pokémon, remember to stay alert and be safe. Avoid walking alone at night, even for rare ghost Pokémon, and have the contact information for campus security saved in your phone in case you feel unsafe.
- Saint Paul Campus safety officer
cell phone: 651-775-0444
desk phone: 651-793-1717
- Library safety officer
cell phone: 651-775-0715
- Parking ramp safety officer
cell phone: 651-368-4297
- Midway Center safety officer
cell phone: 651-775-6122
- Minneapolis Campus safety officer
cell phone: 612-659-6910
emergency phone: 612-659-6900
- LECJEC safety officer
cell phone: 763-354-4168
If you want to learn more about playing the game, check out this Beginner’s Guide to Pokémon Go.