Byte Back Community Goes Wild for Pokémon Go


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Instructor Andrew Quilpa poses with a Goldeen in a Byte Back classroom. The cool thing about Pokémon Go is that it combines reality and fantasy right on your mobile screen.

By Iyana Turner, Program Associate & Pokémon Go Enthusiast

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IC3 and MTA student, Crystal Ball, plays outside of Byte Back’s Benning Road location.

Just over a month ago, software development company Niantic Labs released Pokémon Go to American players. Garnering over 1 million downloads in the Google Play store in 24 hours, Pokémon Go has now reached over 100 million downloads on Android devices alone. The game is just as popular at Byte Back among staff and students, inspiring photoshoots and game play during class breaks.

So, what is Pokémon anyway?

Pokémon are fictional creatures which exist in nature and can be captured, trained, and used for recreational battle. It began as two video games in 1995 which smashed into the American market with cartoons (which continue to air to this day) and collectable trading cards.

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One of Byte Back’s favorite real-life furry friends Chicharron encounters a male Nidoran on a recent walk around Brookland.

Both Byte Back locations are prime spots for players, with the main location boasting more than six nearby “Pokestops” to increase your items stash and lure rare Pokémon. Byte Back’s location on Benning Road NE has three nearby Pokestops and a highly competitive Pokémon gym. You can update your computer skills and your Pokédex at the same time.

With such great popularity comes great criticism as users have wandered onto highways, crashed their vehicles, and one even walked off of a cliff while playing. But Niantic has used technology behind other apps to increase safety for players.

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See your avatar on a GPS map while you play.

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This screen is your Pokédex, which shows the Pokémon that you’ve seen and captured.

For example, warnings pop up at the start of each game reminding players to be aware of their surrounds and not to follow the game into unfamiliar areas. To discourage users from playing while driving, the game now detects movement faster than an average bicycle and will lock until you report yourself as a passenger in the vehicle.

Keep on playing, Byte Back students and staff! Whether you’ve aligned yourself with Team Mystic, Team Valor, or Team Instinct, we’re cheering you on (and taking your gym).

If you’re interested in playing and would like some help getting started, see staff members Bock, Cisco, or Izzy, who will be happy to introduce you and help you CATCH ‘EM ALL!


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