Campus full of Pokestops: Gotta catch ‘em all, but not in class

Alyssa Mursch, News Editor

For the multitude of people who are on a mission to catch ’em all, the Wilkes campus is a good place to visit. With various Pokestops, Wilkes University is a large part of the Pokemon phenomenon that spiked the interest of thousands since July.

Pokemon Go combines reality and fantasy as players have to travel around their local neighborhoods to capture Pokemon. Whether it’s in Public Square or next to Breiseth Hall, it seems that these virtual creatures are dominating Wilkes-Barre and consuming the attention of everyone that downloads the app.

Some common stops among Wilkes campus include Capin Hall, Sturdevant Hall and Conyngham Hall – where The Beacon office is located. The Annette Evans Alumni House also doubles as a Pokemon gym, which players can capture or, if already occupied, battle the current occupant in hopes of gaining possession of it.

With the school year quickly approaching, Wilkes’ staff advises that the fun stay in a student’s spare time, or be used as a break from their work, and that they not let it interfere with their classes.

“I understand the draw of Pokemon-Go. I have a son who enjoys playing and I’ll admit to catching a few Pokemon on campus,” said Associate Dean of Student Affairs Gretchen Yeninas. “However, this shouldn’t interfere with the classroom. It doesn’t matter if there is a Zubat or Caterpie on your professor’s desk, this game is for outside of the classroom.”

Public safety also released a safety reminder that emphasized the importance of staying alert when collecting Pokeballs and catching the Pikachus, Charizards and Squirtles that occupy Wilkes campus and the surrounding areas.

Other safety tips include: playing in pairs or as a group, telling someone when and where you are going before you go, refraining from driving while playing and being careful not to trespass on private property.

Jordan McKeaige, a sophomore biochemistry major, enjoys playing the game and plans to continue playing once he returns to campus this month.

“I lovee the app; it makes me appreciate nature and what’s going on around me,” McKeaige said.

“I’ve also seen how many Pokestops and gyms are on/near campus, and I know I’ll be playing as soon as the semester starts.”

It is unlikely McKeaige will be alone. According to Forbes.com, 46 percent of Pokemon Go players are between 18 and 29 years old. Sixty-three percent of players are female, and almost 46 percent earn less than $50,000 a year.

Another interesting fact: 34.6 percent of all Pokeman Go players earn more than $100,000 annually — that’s a lot of Pokeballs.