Where we ‘GO’ at WashU

There has been a saying in the games industry for a very long time: “Just add Pokémon”. In this instance ‘Pokémon’ is a catch-all term for any successful franchise be it Mario, Lego, Lord of the Rings or a specific game mechanic that can be plastered on any pre-existing franchise and thus re-vitalize a series or genre of games. This can be no more true than in the case of Pokémon GO which exists in the intersection of seemingly universal classic childhood nostalgia and Ingress, an augmented-reality mobile game that transforms popular landmarks into technological battlegrounds that has existed since 2012. Nevertheless, it is the case that Pokémon GO captures the imagination, allowing one to get as close as possible to being a real-life Ash or Misty.


For me, the fever dream in which Pokémon GO exists stops not at the endless internet posts which tell tales of absurd situations roving about unfamiliar parts of a city entail, for the Niantic developed game has taken the WashU community by storm. Not only do we have a 250+ person Facebook group dedicated to the game (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1263445700347376) but it is seemingly omnipresent as students, faculty, and staff catch Rattatas, Starmines, and Bulbasaurs all across campus and Saint Louis. WashU is home to numerous Gyms, PokeStops, and lures which summer students, interns, and visitors make great use of. However, that pales in comparison to the gargantuan quantity of landmark-based attractions that are scattered about Forest Park. Walking along the web of pathways that curve and stretch throughout the park there are myriad places in which one may battle for the supremacy of a gym. Within the 1400 acres of trees and hills in which one may catch the infuriatingly elusive creatures of the eponymous game, there are numerous free attractions in which one may take refuge from the Saint Louis heat in summer or the winds in winter.


PC: Katie Janoski

Inspiring intense fandom from some and casual interest from many, Pokémon GO has captured the hearts of pre-freshmen and graduate students alike as they stand in line at the DUC waiting for their quesadilla or roam about the campus at night in furious Pokémon hunting and gym conquering packs.

Animal Friends

Animal Friends

Pokémon GO is a cultural landmark which is, for better or worse, taking people off the beaten path, encouraging exploration, and is the successful embodiment of a generation’s nostalgia. There are opportunities everywhere to go down a street you have never gone down before, to take a walk instead of watching Netflix, and to congregate with coworkers in the corner of office in which a Snorlax has suddenly appeared.

P.S. The Loop had a giant, day-long event directed at participants of Pokémon GO