By: Haley Fisher
The top downloaded app this summer has made its way to Newnan High School.
Pokemon GO is an app where you actively hunt Pokemon, using real world locations to catch the fictional creatures. The game encourages you to leave your couch and explore the world around you, where students and teachers alike have been travelling to Poke stops to collect supplies, fighting in gym battles for your team or finding new Pokemon while running errands.
Just walking down a major street in Newnan, people can be seen playing the game and even meeting each other while gaming. In the common weekend hangouts, Ashley Park, or the historical Downtown Newnan area, there are many Poke stops just asking to be visited and plenty of walking space to hatch your eggs.
The halls of Newnan High not been left out of all the digital fun. Teachers and students have been getting back into the school day routine, but many either enjoyed a summer of Pokemon hunting or have continued playing when their educational responsibilities resumed.
NHS Drama Director Bob Ramseur has taken a liking to the game. Curiosity struck him over the summer, and he downloaded the game to see what the talk was all about.
Since starting, Ramseur has reached level 17 and represents Team Valor. The drama teacher, not having grown up with Pokemon, was at a slight disadvantage without the background knowledge that younger generations have.
Not being raised with Pokemon as a mainstream phenomenon did not bother him though, and he began to recreationally collect the digital creatures out of enjoyment. “I just like to collect them,” he explained.
From his fine collection, his favorite and highest Compact Power (CP) is Snorlax, a normal Pokemon. He caught the sleeping beast on Armory Road, a recommended spot to visit right before sunset to find powerful Pokemon.
Mr. Ramseur, however, has not been the the only NHS faculty member to make a digital plunge into a world very similar to our own. Mrs. Elizabeth Doster has also become a recreational Pokemaster in addition to her title as Instructional Coach at NHS.
Surprisingly, with her extremely busy schedule, Mrs. Doster finds time to try to catch them all. Shortly after Pokemon Go came out, she was already opening the app and getting started.
Mrs. Doster said she likes keeping up with all the new fads as a way of staying connected with students, so she began started playing to learn more about the craze. “I like to see if there’s a way we can use it in school,” she added, reaffirming her educational intentions.
Also at a setback from the lack of Pokemon in her childhood, Mrs. Doster’s knowledge to the game was limited when she began playing, but of course, this did not stop her quest to be the very best.
As a level 28 Pokemon catcher and member of Team Mystic, Mrs. Doster has successfully taken over a gym. Though she remained modest about holding the title of Gym Leader, her accomplishments in the game are certainly something to be envied by her teenage rivals.
Once she got bored with all the Pidgeys and Rattatas, basic and common Pokemon, she packed up and went to Quebec to discover what new Pokemon may be in Canada. After her expedition, she only returned with new friendships between fellow gamers. Doster encourages fellow gamers of all ages to embrace the game and just play for fun.
Among the students of NHS, a few have picked up the game and have begun trying to emerge as a Pokemaster themselves.
Curtis Cambas, NHS senior, is all for team mystic. He downloaded the game a little while after its release. Watching the Pokemon show on television as a young child, his excitement to play the game came from a very genuine and almost nostalgic place of joy.
Being a part of three clubs, Chess, History and Drama as well as staying on top of his grades, Curtis still finds time to play. Curtis encourages all who play to be safe and have some common sense.
Joyce Fowler, NHS junior, also came back to school this year after a summer of Pokemon scavenging looking to compare her finds with her peers.
Being a fan of Pokemon as a child, Joyce took many Pokemon hunting adventures. Thanks to modern technology, the search continues mobily. Three days after the game was released, Joyce downloaded the game and started her expedition into the world of Pokemon.
With preparation for the new school year full of AP classes and sports, Joyce’s time to play was limited during the summer, because her focus is now mainly occupied with school. Once the year finally started, grades became her top priority again, but in spite of the many demands on her time, she has successfully made it to level 12.
Even with strong Pokemon in her deck, Joyce tends to stay away from gym battles. After once trying to help her team in a gym, all she got out of the experience was a defeat and a hurt Pokemon.
As a serious piece of advice, she said, “Don’t play it [Pokemon GO] while you’re driving. Ask your passenger to do it for you.”
The NHS staff and students are mainly just casual players.
The Newnan Cougar Pokemasters enjoy just having fun going out and seeing the world around them in a responsible manner as they hunt the digital creatures.