It’s 2:30 on a warm Sunday afternoon.
Seniors Emil Erickson, Aidan Cunningham and Adam Dean have finished watching a soccer game and decide to play a new popular game, Pokémon Go.
They all get into Erickson’s car to go find places to catch Pokémon.
As they drive down a large hill, Cunningham suddenly shouts from the passenger seat.
“Pull over!” Cunningham yells.
He has just located a rare Pokémon, the Snorlax.
Erickson pulls over and they all jump out of the car as they get out their phones to try and catch the character.
However, the server is really bad for Dean, and the app keeps on crashing. During this time, Cunningham and Erickson also can’t catch the Snorlax, which runs away from them.
But Dean’s server finally goes online and he captures the Snorlax.
The three get back into Erickson’s car and drive on to find more Pokémon.
So what exactly is Pokémon Go, and why has it caught all their attentions?
Pokémon Go is a game available on iPhones and Androids that allows players to create an avatar who can catch, train and battle Pokémon characters.
But what makes this one different from other Pokémon games is that the game uses smartphone cameras, along with the player’s real-life location, to capture the Pokémon characters.
Pokémon Go was created by Niantic, Inc., and was released July 6.
The company has already made $9 billion off this game, according to the New York Times.
Junior Nina Dym found out about the game through non-SCDS friends.
“And it was all over Twitter,” she added.
Junior Reggie Fan saw a Twitter trailer and decided to download the trending game.
Senior Adam Dean also learned about Pokémon Go from tweets.
Dean then went to the App Store to check the game out and saw that it was number one, so he decided to give it a try.
Students said that one reason Pokémon Go is so fun is because it makes them go outside.
“I like it because it’s interactive and gets you to go outside and explore,” Dym said.
The game is also a good way to exercise, according to Fan.
In fact, Dym said she has walked over 10 kilometers around the Sacramento area playing Pokémon Go, and Dean has walked and biked over eight miles, he said.
One day Dean, along with his friends, biked over five miles while playing the game.
Along with the exercising aspect, Dean said he liked getting rewarded for going to places in the real world.
“I went to the Capitol and got loot (including XP, Pokéballs, revives and healing potions) and Pokémon checkpoints there,” Dean said.
“It’s pretty neat that (the game) has all these checkpoints all across the U.S. It could be something as big as the Golden Gate Bridge or as small as my local library.”
Dym has caught 160 characters in total (including duplicates) and 41 different characters out of the 143 available; Fan has caught 185 characters.
And Dean has caught 45 individual characters and 175, including duplicates.
Pokémon Go isn’t popular among only Country Day students.
It’s a really good way to meet new people who are cool and nice, according to Fan.
“My favorite part (about the game) is walking around with my friends trying to catch Pokémon and then running into other groups of kids who are also playing,” Dym said.
Fan and Cunningham met and talked to different groups of college and middle-aged people for around 30 minutes at Sacramento State while playing the game.
They talked about which Pokémon characters they all had and which team they were all on.
But the best part, they say, is spending time with friends.
“We can cruise around our neighborhood to collect Pokémon and tokens, and then together we can team (up) to attack the Pokémon character,” Dean said. “It’s something that’s free and entertaining that gets you outside.”
Like any video game, Fan knows that Pokémon Go won’t be popular forever, but he thinks it will last longer than many.
“The game just came out,” Fan said. “So it probably won’t die out until like the school year starts. But even then it might go on.”
—By Annya Dahmani