Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
placeholder article
placeholder article

The Pokemon Go Apocolypse: An Afternoon Pokemon Go Player Watching

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Gettysburg chapter.

As if people didn’t walk around with their faces in their phones enough, the new craze actually encourages you to do just that.

Chances are good that, even if you don’t play it yourself, you’ve heard of Pokemon Go.

This new augmented reality game brings the Pokemon childhood of many teens/college students/adults to life. Not to mention those that are still children.

Personally, I was never into Pokemon. But my friends were and my brother was, so I had my fair share of exposure. Regardless of the fact that I never collected the cards or watched the show, I have to admit, bringing the game into the real world is pretty darn cool.

But the game seemed to appear out of absolutely nowhere. One day, it was just there, and the next day everyone and their mother was playing it. You can’t turn on the news, look anywhere online, or go on social media without being bombarded by it. Snapchat even has a filter up for it. (One of my personal favorites is a Buzzfeed article about how Canada is reacting to not having Pokemon Go available).

As non-players, my friend and I decided it would be interesting to people watch and see how many people were playing. The result was one hilariously entertaining afternoon.

Sitting on a ledge in the center of my town enjoying froyo, my friend and I just so happened to sit right next to a Pokemon.

So many passers-by playing the game, thinking this couldn’t be a coincidence, assumed we were playing too. I lost track of the number of times someone called out to us, “Pokemon Go?!”

My friend and I started to laugh every time we saw groups looking at their phones while walking. Clearly, we could only assume at first glance. However, I kid you not, every time we laughed, it turned out that they were in fact playing Pokemon Go.

We started to take selfies for the sole purpose of capturing the mass quantities of players in the backgrounds. And trust me, we heard the conversations. They were definitely playing Pokemon Go.

Here are just a few:

One huge upside is that the game is getting a lot of people active. It requires you to walk around, and rewards you for walking longer distances.

Pokemon Go player: “Michelle Obama has been trying to get kids active for years and Nintendo did it in 24 hours.”

Of course, that also means it’s encouraging people to go places they probably don’t belong.

It’s also creating a lot of bonds between strangers who pass each other on the street looking for Pokemon.

For example, while people watching, my friend and I saw two groups that clearly didn’t know each other call across the street to confirm each group was playing. They then crossed the street and embraced each other in bro hugs.

This same street, however, caused us to fear for the safety of players who maybe should be watching for cars and not Pokemon…

And yes, the groups on both sides of the street in that picture are playing.

And, because the game in inescapable, while sitting there I recieved multiple Pokemon Go-related snapchats:

When finally leaving our Pokemon-Player-watching spot, I ran into a friend of mine from high school. It wasn’t until I saw his snapchat story later that I realized he too was in town playing the game.

The next day at work, I walked into lunch to find all of my co-workers playing as well. (Apparently there were a couple Pokemon in our office)

I’d say it’s ironic, but if everyone is playing, then there is nothing ironic about it.

Call it what you will–phenomenon, epidemic–but whether or not you’re a player, there is no escaping the Pokemon Go mania.


*all unattributed photos used with permission from author

English Education major at Gettysburg College. My friends hate me for correcting their grammar, but I know they secretly appreciate it.
Juliette Sebock, Founder: Jules founded the Gettysburg College chapter of Her Campus in Fall 2015 and served as Campus Correspondent until graduating in Spring 2018. Juliette graduated from Gettysburg College in 2018 with an English major and History/Civil War Era Studies/Public History triple minors. In addition to HC, she was a member of the Spring 2017 class of Advanced Studies in England and of various organizations including Eta Sigma Phi, Dance Ensemble, and Poetry Circle. She has published a poetry chapbook titled Mistakes Were Made, available on Amazon and Goodreads, and she has poems forthcoming in several literary magazines. She is also the editor-in-chief of Nightingale & Sparrow Magazine and runs the lifestyle blog, For the Sake of Good Taste. For more information, visit https://juliettesebock.com.