Earl Grey, who is definitely not fake and is totally a real person we didn’t just make up in order to singularly represent us as a student body, was just another UC Berkeley student going about his days. He was taking Computer Science 61A for the summer and all was good, minus the copious amounts of homework. Then it came: the game Pokemon Go.
He was merely chillin’ in the study lounge when his friend, Walter, walked in, raising his head only momentarily to give a nod of “hello” before his eyes were glued back to the screen.
A few seconds later, he exclaimed, “Yes! I got it!”
“Got what?” Earl thought. Curious, he shuffled over to see what Walter was doing.
“Is that a Pokemon?” Earl asked as a Magikarp flopped like a dying fish on Walter’s screen.
“Yeah, man. It’s Pokemon Go,” Walter said, still focused on his game. “It just came out and it’s so addicting.”
“Hmm,” Earl played a decent amount of Pokemon when he was younger, but that was about the extent of his interest. But it looked cool enough that he pulled up his App Store and downloaded the game.
When he started getting really into the game he had thoughts like:
“They expect us to walk around just to get a Pokemon? There is no way…”
“I can’t believe I walked all the way to the Engineering building just to battle at a gym.”
“Why is Blondie’s Pizza a gym? Well at least it must have picked up some business for them. Maybe I should get a part-time job at Blondie’s so I have a reason to be there.”
“Is it worth walking into People’s Park at night just for a Pokemon? Psh, at this point I would probably take a sleeping bag to People’s Park if I needed to.”
Never had he had as much motivation to walk around campus like he did now. He was almost eager to walk from Southside to Northside just so he could hatch an egg. Then he discovered the power of buses — it was the perfect solution to the activity requirement of the game.
His homework began piling up, but he couldn’t stop. Pokemon Go was consuming his life.
Then one day, Earl was struggling to focus in a discussion class when Walter messaged him: “Dude, you won’t believe it. You need to get to I-House RIGHT NOW. I just found a Cubone” followed with an inordinate amount of fireworks emojis to impress upon him the momentousness of this moment.
There was no way he could ignore potentially getting a Cubone. He abruptly got up from his seat and rushed off mumbling some half-assed excuse to his GSI on the way out. Earl raced through the streets with his phone in hand.
He was finally in range and all he had to do was catch it.
“Watch out!” someone yelled from behind him. As Earl turned around he realized that he was in the middle of a street. The last thing he felt was the impact of a decrepit black car as it tried to screech to a halt.
A few hours later, Earl was lying on a hospital bed still trying to recuperate from the hit.
“That’s it!” Earl groaned. “I never want to see that blue screen again.” He chucked his phone to the far end of a sofa in his hospital room.
A nurse was pacing the corridor outside his room with her phone in her hand. It could only mean one thing: She was playing Pokemon Go.
“OMG someone just dropped a Lure!” she shrieked out of nowhere.
There followed a few moments of contemplation by Earl. No, he shouldn’t.
“It’s a Growlithe!” she said.
“Goddamn it. Nurse! Nurse!” he called out, “Could you please get me my phone?”
Contact Zeyana Musthafa at [email protected].