Pokemon Trainers Union doubles after 'Pokemon Go' release

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The Pokemon Trainers Union meets every Wednesday from 7 -10 p.m. in Arts and Communications Building 114 and is open to anybody who is interested.

The Pokemon Trainers Union at Ball State has nearly doubled within the last year, and the club's president says the steady increase is thanks to the release of "Pokemon Go."

“Everyone’s joining the craze, which I think is a great thing,” Anthony Huber, Pokemon Trainers Union president, said. “It's bringing a lot of people together who may not have played 'Pokemon' since they were a kid into the franchise.”

While the young organization has had a steady size of around 50 members, the club received over 200 signatures at the activity fair — the most the union has ever had.

Overall, the club has seen a 40 percent increase.

Founded by alumnus Nathan Golub in 2013, The Pokemon Trainers Union was created to connect fans of the franchise to celebrate everything and anything Pokemon.

The weekly meetings consist of members getting together and doing anything that has to do with Pokemon.

Popular club activities include:

  • Pokemon Bingo
  • Whose Linoone is it Anyway?
  • Nintendo 3 DS "Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire"
  • "Pokemon" trading card game
  • The "Pokemon" TV show
  • "Pokemon Go"

Along with weekly meetings, the club also puts on a Live Action Role Play (LARP) Pokemon Simulation every Semester.

The LARP is the club's biggest event of the semester and allows contestants the opportunity to battle gyms across campus and attempt to become the Pokemon Champion of Ball State.

Pokemon Trainers Union member Dakota Gaither hopes that "Pokemon Go" has a lasting effect on people.

“'Pokemon Go' really rejuvenated peoples interest in Pokemon. A lot of people say they watched the show as a kid or played the game as a kid,” Gaither said. “I want 'Pokemon Go' to actually encourage the people to actually play the games and let it encourage people to watch the show like they did when they were kids.”

Member Lauren Taylor thinks the group's success also has a lot to do with the unity and shared spirit of its members.

“Growing up, a lot of kids who played 'Pokemon' were stigmatized for it. It was just one of those things that automatically made you a nerd,” Taylor said. “But people kept on playing it, and when they came to college, they found other people that actually liked it, and, as a result, wanted to share that with each other and other people who may no have been able to get into it because of the stigma around it.”

Gaither said he hopes to see the club continue to increase in membership.

“I just want to encourage anyone that has any interest in Pokemon to come and check us out for a meeting or two,” he said. 

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