Pokemon Go popularity inspired scholarship, various student opinions

     Students are commonly identified walking on campus or sitting in class with their face hovered over their personal technology screens.

     Although Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook can all be seen as large distractions, an app that became popular this summer has provided students with another use for their phones.

     With 17 Pokestops and two Pokemon Go gyms easily accessible on campus, UCCS is one of the premier places to “catch ‘em all” on the popular Pokemon Go app in Colorado Springs.

     This summer, a $500 scholarship was offered to the first UCCS or PPCC student to catch a Snorlax on the app due to its wide use.

     The scholarship went unclaimed, but may become available for students again who play the app, offered by Ashford Realty Group.

     According to company representative Craig Mount, there is a possibility that this scholarship will be renewed to give UCCS students another opportunity.

     “We would definitely consider reopening the scholarship if there was student interest,” said Mount.

     Although it is a popular game to play, sophomore nursing major Sammy Golanoski, said students should also think about safety concerns when playing.

     “I would hope people are smart enough not to go into the road in front of a car,” said Golanoski.

     Sophomore mechanical engineering major Garret Weiss doesn’t think the app is a concern.

     “People getting hurt is their own fault. Assuming that we don’t have people with utter lack of coordination or spatial awareness, it shouldn’t be an issue,” said Weiss.

     Though concerns about safety are varied, some students are not concerned the app will cause distractions in class.

     “The game forces you to move, so staying in one location is not that useful. The game relies on well-known locations, and I don’t know of any classrooms on campus that are near enough to these to create a problem,” explained Weiss.

     Junior sociology major Stephanie Guffey said the app is popular because it gives people something to do.

     “It is definitely a fun thing for people who may not be super into video games. It is relatively simple and it is rewarding,” commented Guffey.

     Pokemon Go is being used as a way to unite students, said freshman political science major Valeria Rodriguez.

     “It’s a game where it gets you active, so if you see your friends playing you want to play also. It is just a new trend, so everyone wants in,” said Rodriguez.

     She also thinks the game’s popularity may be due to the influence that Pokemon had on the millennial generation during their childhood.

     “The older you get the rougher life gets, so if you have anything that reminds you of your childhood, when life was easier, people are automatically attracted to that.”
“I think the trend is about to die down though; that nostalgia only lasts so long, and I think people are over it,” said Rodgiruez.