Pokémon is a well known brand, from the success of Pokémon Go to the show featuring Ash Ketchum’s journey to become a Pokémon master. The series featuring the creatures known as Pokémon are also enjoyed by the members of Pokémon Club at Michigan State University who meet to play and battle each other in a variety of media.
Pokémon as a series is known as a monster collection game, where the main focus are creatures called Pokémon, short for Pocket Monster. The series started out as a pair of video games in 1996, and eventually expanded into a massive franchise which includes a trading card game, several seasons of an animated TV show, comics, merchandise, and various spin off games including Pokémon Go, which in its release of 2016 saw international popularity.
The Pokémon club at MSU was recently revived by club president Elex McCoy, who is a senior in games & interactive media major. She had been encouraged to create a Pokémon club by several people in other similar gaming clubs, and learned that there was no space for Pokémon fans on campus to easily gather.
“Apparently, one existed before COVID happened, but it died out from a lack of activity. I’m unsure if the reason the old club died was to COVID or just poor leadership, but COVID at least seemed to be the final blow,” McCoy said. “I just was the one who decided to lead the charge at the start of last fall to get all of the old club resources and build it all anew.”
Meetings and activities at the club are very casual. June Nober is a sophomore in the games & interactive media major, and next semester will be treasurer of the club.
“Pokémon club kinda has two different sides,” Nober said. “The first is the trading card game side, which play the Pokémon trading card game both during club, as well in local tournaments and meetups outside of club. A bunch of us even went to the Pokémon regionals in Fort Wayne for it.”
“There is also a campus league where people can challenge our gym leaders in online Pokémon battles kinda like the actual games, which is super fun.”
The club itself is open to all kinds of players. Kiley Slevin, member of Pokémon club, said the “club is open for the competitive and the casual. We tend to host little ‘events’ that anyone can do, like Pokémon jeopardy!”
“We just started going, and now we have made some really strong friendships! all because of a silly creature game,” Slevin said.
MSU Pokémon club plans for a bright future ahead for next semester. McCoy says that “for anyone reading and interested in Pokémon, I encourage you to come stop by next fall!”
MSU Pokémon can be found on their twitter here.