Dave is joined by University Communications own Chris Grulke as they wander about the campus of Appalachian State University in search of Pokémon but mostly Pokémon players in an attempt to figure out what people like about the game and how it works.
Dave: Hey folks! It’s me Dave Blanks and I’m joined my Mr. Chris Grulke from University Communications. Hey Chris!
Dave: We haven’t done a Dave by the Bell in a long time but this one had to be done.
Chris: I’ll tell you what Dave there is a new craze that’s sweeping the nation and it’s called Pokémon Go.
Dave: That’s right and if you’re not familiar with Pokémon Go, it’s a game that is played on your phone and it uses Google Maps and you walk around. It makes people actually have to do something physical and it encourages social interaction. It’s an unusual sort of game.
Chris: Yeah. I hear our campus is a hot spot for it. I will say, gone are the days where people look and watch where they are going.
Dave: It’s true there are a lot of very distracted college students walking around campus right now so let’s head outside.
Chris: So what’s the big deal? Why is it so fun?
Dave: An all-new Dave By the Bell begins right now.
Dave: Pokémon Go…how do you say it?
Voice 1: Pokémon Go?
Dave: Pokémon okay she say it that way. Pokémon is very popular and a lot of people on campus are doing it. Are you yourself playing Pokémon Go?
Voice 1: I have.
Dave: You have!!? It’s been out for how long?
Voice 1: It’s like a week. “Day eight of Pokémon Go and we are now in a world of…haha”
Dave: …of people wandering around not really paying attention. That’s the concern you’re hearing a lot. People saying that players are going to get run over or something like that.
Voice 1: Oh yeah! There are crazy people out there. People have been robbed. Then peoples houses that used to be old churches are now Pokestops and it brings up a really cool question. What are your cyber rights? I’m definitely a huge fan of the concept. It think it’s genius. I mean, there are people running around. That’s crazy…to actually get people to run around? It’s a nice hug for the world.
Voice 2: You could in theory just say I’m standing here and there is a bench over there. A Pokémon could pop up on that bench and I would see him through my phone chilling on a bench next to a person. It’s very integrated into real life. You do see a lot of people that you normally don’t see in a lot places. They’ll be going around in parks or at different art installations. I think it’s very good for the community. Gamers can meet each other aside from screens.
Voice 3: I think my favorite thing is just the popularity of it. I like being able to walk around with my friends and meet people I think just the social experiences I have gotten out of it have been the most enjoyable.
Dave: How many people are outside the library at night playing this game?
Voice 3: I’d say anywhere from 50 to a few hundred. And I mean that’s not just at the library. That’s just the center point. There are tons of groups walking around yelling at each other for fun. It’s a lot of good times. I’d say there are always around 50 or so sitting at the library but there are easily a few hundred campus.
Dave: So you are playing Pokémon Go as a couple?
Voice 4 and Voice 5: Yeah! Hahaha
Dave: Cool. So what do you like about it?
Voice 4 and Voice 5: I like that you have to find them…just walking around and what not. I didn’t really do cardio before this.
Dave: So what Pokémon have you caught that is your favorite so far?
Voice 4: I mean…my Charmander. That’s my favorite but I haven’t seen a single one since I got that one.
Voice 5: What about your high powered ones?
Voice 4: Well the coolest one I have is probably an Aerodactyl but that’s not that great. All I want are Charmanders and sadly I’m Charmanderless.
Dave: But you still like him though right?
Voice 5: Haha oh yeah!
Dave: Okay good. Thanks for your time! Hey, don’t walk into traffic okay?
Voice 4 and Voice 5: Haha okay!
Dave: Do you want to go this way?
Dave: Okay… Hey how’s it going?
Voice 6: Good!
Dave: Are you playing Pokémon Go by any chance?
Voice 6: I am but I am also working.
Dave: Awww Okay that’s cool.
Voice 6: There’s a Squirtle over by Duck Pond so there are a bunch of people over there.
Dave: Okay thank you! Dude! The mythic Squirtle!
Chris: Do you wanna head over there?
Dave: Sure! All right as we’re approaching the Duck Pond we see…I don’t know…I’d probably say 30 people?
Chris: All on their phones.
Dave: Haha everybody staring at their phone. Hey excuse me. Are you playing Pokémon Go?
Voice 7: I am
Dave: Have you done a lot of walking?
Voice 7: I have. Yeah.
Dave: Oh what’s that you have there?
Voice 7: That’s an Abara.
Dave: He’s pretty cool looking.
Voice 7: Yeah, Lets see if I can catch him.
Dave: You got him!
Voice 7: Maybe. Sometimes they escape the Pokeballs.
Dave: Looks pretty good!
Voice 7: And he just disappeared.
Dave: Oh no! So you didn’t get him?
Voice 7: No
Chris: Dave is bad luck.
Dave: Yeah, maybe it was me.
Voice 7: It’s okay.
Dave: I owe you one…what is it?
Voice 7: Abra
Dave: I owe you one Abra. So what is the coolest Pokémon that you have so far? Do you have a lot of them? Have you caught them all?
Voice 7: I have not caught them all. I only have 70 out of 250. This guy is my favorite.
Dave: What’s that?
Voice 7: Vaporeon
Dave: Oh he’s cool looking. Can you describe him?
Voice 7: He’s a water type. That’s pretty much it.
Dave: Did you catch him here?
Voice 7: I did not. He was actually in my bathtub.
Dave: No way! Well thanks for your time.
Voice 8: The interaction with people that you haven’t even met. It’s kind of uniting the campus over this game at all hours of the day and it’s good exercise as well.
Dave: So yeah you’re sitting here in a group with these people. You’re all staring at your phones but you do seem to be aware that there are other people around you. That’s good. So what is your favorite Pokémon that you’ve captured so far?
Voice 9: My favorite one is probably the Eevee. They evolve into four different types of Pokémon.
Dave: So what do you like about the game?
Voice 9: There are so many new people that you can meet just because of Pokémon. Even people who never played or watched Pokémon are getting into it now and it’s just a big community.
Voice 8: If there’s a rare Pokémon people will just shout to everybody in the near by area…even to people they don’t even know informing them of where the Pokémon is and you’ll just see a crowd of strangers just rushing toward the same Pokémon.
Dave: So if there’s one Pokémon and you capture it, somebody else can capture it as well right?
Voice 8: Absolutely. It stays in a certain spot for a short amount of time. They just kind of spawn.
Chris: Somebody said there was a Squirtle over here…
Voice 8: Yeah there was a crowd recently across the pond there going for a Squirtle.
Dave: Do you think the Squirtle is still there?
Voice 8: I think it went away a few minutes ago.
Dave: Dang it! I was going interview that Squirtle but…man…
Dave: Well Pokémon Go seems like a cool game that people are enjoying Chris.
Chris: it really does Dave and I think it keeps coming back to the theme of uniting people.
Dave: Yeah! It’s bringing folks together that might not normally have talked to each other.
Dave: That’s what college is all about right?
Chris: And Nintendo making a lot of money.
Dave: I’m Dave Blanks and this has been. Dave by the Bell…and you’re Chris!
Chris: Chris by the Bell.
What do you think?
Share your feedback on this story.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.