Do you play Pokémon GO? If not, there is still time to join and play. Here is everything you need to know to get in the game.

9-2-16maasencoverphotosaveforwebPhoto by Michael Maasen


Pokémon GO. If you don’t play it, you at least know someone who plays Niantic’s overwhelmingly popular game.

Statistics gathered by DMR Stats and Gadgets puts America up to 100 million total downloads with 20 million of those actively playing each day — that’s a lot of Pokémon GO-ing.

MBU is no exception to this craze taking the world by storm, which started this summer.

“What I like about playing Pokémon GO on campus is that it has allowed me to talk to people that I haven’t ever talked to before. It gave me a reason to talk to people I never would have otherwise,” said Kevin Clements, an MBU ministry major and member of team Valor.

There are PokéStops at the Spartan statue and the library and two gyms on campus near the main entrance and the Field Building, enough to keep students busy in their free time.

A gym is a geo-location in the game where players on the same team may leave their Pokémon, sort of like a capture the flag game.

The gym located in the Field Building alone changes teams several times a day, many during the lunch hour.

Garrett Grasshoff, an MBU senior and employee at the Perk, is an avid Pokémon GO player for team Instinct.

“It (gym leadership) doesn’t last very long, so it’s very satisfying for a few minutes, but then an hour later it’s disappeared. It makes it pretty competitive,” said Grasshoff.

Grasshoff is a gym leader almost every day, so he would know.

Students can be seen on their phones, walking, then suddenly slowing to a stop, letting out a cry of joy or despair, then continuing on their way.

“Most of the time I just play when I’m walking, turn it on and get some steps,” said Grasshoff.

Walking allows players to hatch new Pokémon and find more Pokémon faster.

Playing this game while walking is encouraged, though playing while driving is both dangerous and illegal.

The game states, “Do not play Pokémon GO while driving,” and, “Do not trespass while playing Pokémon GO,” and, of course, “Remember to be alert at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings.”

Being “alert at all times” should be taken as more than just a suggestion.

Nikolas Howard, a Pokémon GO player, was out getting cigarettes at 2 a.m. one evening and saw a Pokéstop with a lure on it nearby.

A lure is an item in the game that is placed at Pokéstops to attract Pokémon so players can catch them.

Howard was ambushed and robbed that early morning in O’Fallon, Mo., by a group of 16- to 17-year-old kids, according to police reports.

Even though Howard may have had a bad experience, he still plans on playing the game.

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If you play responsibly and keep your priorities straight, Pokémon GO can be a joy and a pleasure.

Pokémon GO is, at the very least, a pastime for students in-between classes and a way to have fun while walking around.

By Michael Maasen

Michael Maasen is a senior at MBU, majoring in worship arts/technology with a broadcast media minor. He has been a member of MBU’s ministry groups, spent time writing, editing and recording for MBU Timeline and has helped to maintain multiple websites (including MBU Timeline this year). Michael is a self-determined music connoisseur and enjoys sound engineering for churches or other live sound events.