‘Pokémon Go’ evolves adventure


Photo by Melissa Bushong and Illustration by Madelyn Knight

Senior Aaron Purvis has gone through extreme measures in order to catch ’em all

Rae Updike, Reporter

With phones in hand, their eyes focused on the screens. The air was thick with anticipation and impatience. Vibrations were felt in each hand as a notification alerted that something new had appeared nearby. Nothing else mattered other than becoming the very best. This meant catching every single Pokémon, in the game Pokémon Go.

Walking on a long stretch of sidewalk with his friends, one boy in the group, senior Aaron Purvis, decided that focusing on the game was more important. It was a straight walk anyway. So he let himself be absorbed by the game, paying little attention to where he was actually walking.

The sidewalk took a crisp turn at the start of a busy road. Without realizing, the focused Purvis kept walking forward. All of a sudden, the hunter was yanked back by the collar of his shirt and heard car horns honk violently. A couple seconds later, he realized that while he was entrapped in the Pokémon Go trance, he had managed to walk right into moving traffic, almost being hit.

Pokémon Go came out on July 6, and quickly became the most popular mobile game ever, according to surveymonkey.com. People across the globe have gone to extremes mentally, physically and socially to catch Pokémon, to take ownership of Pokémon gyms and to visit Poké stops as often as possible seeking Poké balls, eggs, potions and berries.

Purvis says he is willing to travel to various locations around Indianapolis many miles away and spend hours at a time hunting for Pokémon. His dedication to the game is so strong that he says he is willing to hunt in blistering heat, pouring rain and even snow. To catch Pokémon, Purvis says he’s even prepared to trek through backyards to reach his destination.

“If there’s something I want, I don’t care what’s in my way,” Purvis said. “I will go through it.”

He’s travelled downtown, around the nearest Kroger, to Greenwood Park Mall, the Circle Center Mall and all throughout the City of Southport. Not only does Purvis spend ample amounts of time hunting, he has spent over $90 dollars filling his car up with gas just going places for the game.

“I have climbed a light post, ” Purvis said. “Like an electrical one that holds the wires. That’s where the game said [the Pokémon] was at, so I went up there.”

More than thinking it would be a fun thing to do, Purvis wanted the specimen that was said to be on the top of the light post. Purvis’s most accomplished Pokémon is his Vaporeon, evolution of Eevee.

Sophomore Manav Patel is another student willing to go to extreme lengths for Pokémon Go. Patel has stayed up until two in the morning walking around downtown hunting, as well as having crossed private property to attempt to get the Pokémon that he’s after.

“I want to be the very best,” Patel said. “I don’t care where I have to go.”

Patel has gone hunting at all the places Purvis has, along with the apartment complexes on Stop 11 and Madison.

The best place to hunt for Pokémon, according to Purvis and Patel, is downtown along the canal.

Physically, both Purvis and Patel are willing to walk miles in pursuit of new and old Pokémon that they can evolve and make stronger. Mentally, they are willing to spend hours focused on one thing and one thing only, the game, sometimes putting themselves at risk.

Socially, both students have hunted with their friends and have walked wherever they have wanted, in pursuit of Pokémon.