Pokemon Go frenzy hits the BHSU campus

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, July 14, 2016/Categories: 2016

Pokemon Go players spot Rattata at Black Hills State University. Universities have been noted as an ideal place to play the mobile game because of the number of landmarks and open space.

Paxton Klug, a sophomore at Spearfish High School, plays Pokemon Go at Black Hills State University.

There's a new gym on the Black Hills State University campus thanks to "Pokemon Go," the location-based augmented reality mobile game released this month.

Universities have been noted as an ideal place to play the mobile game because of the number of landmarks and open space on college campuses. It turns out there is a Pokemon Go Gym located at the Case Library at BHSU.

Pokemon characters may not be checking out books but now Poke-Trainers can battle for the gym before taking some time to rest in the air-conditioned Library with a cup of Einstein's Bros. coffee at BHSU. The Library is one of several locations across campus for Pokemon fun.

The game, which was first noticed on campus by students, staff, and guests on July 6th, has become a nationwide sensation with millions of players.

Ryan Delzer, senior computer support specialist at BHSU who works in the Library, said he started playing the game Tuesday with his 12-year-old nephew.

"You'll see people on their phones outside the Library at BHSU because they're battling. It's the Pokemon game in real life," said Delzer.

Delzer says he collected Pokemon cards in the late 90s and then played Pokemon on his Gameboy. He thinks BHSU is a great place to play the newest version of the game because of the wi-fi available on campus.

Because the game is played on a phone, Delzer says his advice is to be alert at all times and stay aware of your surroundings.

That sentiment is echoed by Paxton Klug's grandmother as well as university personnel. Klug, son of the BHSU Dean of Students Jane Klug, a sophomore at Spearfish High School is an avid Pokemon Go player.  He says his grandma heard about the game on the news and reminded him to be safe.

Klug visited BHSU to check out the Poke Stops and Gyms on campus and see how many Pokemon he could find.

"I ran out of Poke Balls on the way here," said Klug as he walked to the Donald E. Young Center, a virtual Poke Stop where he refilled his mobile stash by the bronze Yellow Jacket.

Like Delzer, Klug said he also grew up with Pokemon and enjoys seeing the characters present in "real" life.

"You can take a walk through the park and then you'll see Pokemon, be able to interact, and make it your own. My sister, my friend, and my dad-we're all playing it now," said Klug.

When players begin playing, they pick a team based on a color. BHSU picks the "Yellow" Jacket team, Pokemon Go!

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