“I’ve only gotten one shiny so far”

Jennifer Newman, a Los Angeles native living in the Manhattan Beach area wasn’t having the best of luck during the sweltering Saturday Pokemon Go community day.

“I’m expecting anywhere from 3 to 7, but it’s a couple hours long so you never know" said Newman, who was trying to capitalize off the increased rate of rare ‘shiny’ type of Pokemon during the remaining hours of the event.

This was on September 15. Community Days happen every month, the next one taking place from 11 AM to 2 PM this Saturday.

An instance of the virtual world spilling into reality in the form of a Jigglypuff keychain on a student's backpack. (Photo by Yixin Chen)
An instance of the virtual world spilling into reality in the form of a Jigglypuff keychain on a student's backpack. (Photo by Yixin Chen)

Many people feel a nostalgia for Pokemon Go and it’s place in the cultural zeitgeist of summer 2016. But the game didn’t disappear when the memes stopped. The community continues to thrive on a player base who bolster the hybrid digital and physical community with a subculture that bloomed from the game’s core mechanics.

But the game has certainly evolved since it’s creation.

One of the major changes was the advent of the Community Days, where every month Pokemon Go increases the likelihood of finding a rare category of ‘shiny’ Pokemon and encourages people to get together to search for them.

The Ant Pit Pokemon - Trapinch will be the leading role of tomorrow’s Community Day. A green shiny one might also jump out among the orange flocks if you’re lucky enough. They evolve into Flygons, which can then be trained to use the special move ‘Earth Power’. It shakes everything up!

Tomorrow will see many hunters out searching for this rare commodity, like Sebastian Reddi who moderates a local Pokemon Go WhatsApp group.

Pokemon hunters Sebastian Reddi and Jennifer Newman with their dogs on the September 2019 Pokemon Go Community Day. (Photo by Oliver Scott)
Pokemon hunters Sebastian Reddi and Jennifer Newman with their dogs on the September 2019 Pokemon Go Community Day. (Photo by Oliver Scott)

“I invite everybody to the group” said Reddi, “But I closed it off because I know there’s underaged students, to protect privacy and what not… It’s pretty much all campus staff, faculty and students.”

Reddi started the game as an incentive to walk more, but stuck around for the community.

His group provides a safe space for people to come together and play the game in the way he enjoys playing it, but Reddi mentions another side of the game that he sees as more unsavory.

“Having moderated a group and having been a moderator there are those diehard players that make it really impossible to enjoy the game.”

Reddi references the more competitive side of the game, where players try to capture and hold “gyms,” fighting against other players with the Pokemon they’ve collected and trained. The system is almost territorial, with groups banding together to maintain control of a certain gym.

Reddi’s group is one of dozens around the Los Angeles area, with communities ranging from neighborhood Facebook groups to Discord servers with thousands of members.

Some of these include include the LA County Pokemon Go Discord server which consists of over 16,000 members, and a more local group that caters to the South Central and USC area with 2000 members. You can find the more local group through the USC Esports Union Discord server in the Pokemon channel.

Happy hunting!