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Reggie Redbird poses with Pidgeotto

Even Reggie Redbird is playing the new "Pokemon Go" game.

Gotta catch ’em all: Pokemon Go takes over Illinois State

Are you visiting Illinois State University this summer? Make sure you pack a comfortable pair of shoes and a fully charged phone, because our campus is a goldmine for “Pokemon Go.”

Pokestop seen on a mobile phone

A Pokestop is seen outside Bone Student Center, near the “Alnasco” sculpture.

With 62 Pokestops and seven gyms within a half-mile of the Quad, you’ll be sure to catch ’em all at Illinois State.

Since the release of “Pokemon Go” last week, groups of “Pokemon trainers” (players) have been flocking to the Quad and Uptown Normal. This augmented-reality game requires players to be physically engaged in their environment in order to gain points, items, and, of course, Pokemon.

Players often gather around “Pokestops” to collect items and Pokemon. The game also requires players to travel up to 10 kilometers—more than 6 miles—to hatch new Pokemon that may be rare or more powerful. Gyms are a gathering place for players to battle against each other through the app with their Pokemon.

High school students pose on the Quad

Dylan Sylvester, left, and his friends from Normal Community High School enjoy walking around Illinois State’s Quad because of the shade and diversity of Pokestops and gyms.

Normal Community High School student Dylan Sylvester and his three friends were hunting Pokemon on the Quad on Thursday, strategizing as they moved across campus.

“My favorite thing (about Illinois State’s campus) is the number of Pokestops and gyms,” Sylvester said. “It’s really nice to walk around here and enjoy the shade when you’re trying to hatch and catch more Pokemon.”

Across the country Pokestops and gyms have been placed near public art, unique architecture, or public gathering places. That’s brought players to some of Illinois State’s most unique places, like the elemental sculptures between Stevenson and Williams halls—called In Exchange—the Planetarium, or memorial benches and plaques.

Cook Hall Pokestop

One of many campus Pokestops is located at historic Cook Hall.

People of all ages are participating and creating a new community at Illinois State.

“ISU’s ‘Pokemon Go’ community is one of a kind,” said AJ Sendra ’16, a philosophy and economics alum. “They are so honest and accepting that it is very easy to fit in here. It is simple: The ISU ‘Pokemon Go’ community just wants to help each other out. It is as if controlling the gyms come second to catching Pokemon and building friendships.”

Whether you’re out to level up your Zubat at Stevenson Hall, hatch your 10-kilometer egg around the Quad, or battle with other Pokemon trainers, head to Illinois State’s campus to join our community of Pokemon trainers.

For future Redbirds and their families, now is the perfect time to visit Illinois State. We offer Daily Campus Visits and Saturday Visits, five upcoming Open House dates for this summer and fall, including July 15 and July 22.

Paige Meisenheimer can be reached at pjmeise@IllinoisState.edu.

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