“ToPikachu” for a Day

What occurred in August 1998, 20 years ago, will happen once again on Saturday, Nov. 3, according to Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla during a council meeting last Tuesday.

Making this the second time in history, Nintendo is bringing two trucks to sit outside the Topeka or “ToPikachu” Zoo to promote their new game “Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee” modified for the Nintendo Switch.

This experience will be offered from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the Topeka Zoo at Gage Park. The movement of “ToPikachu” is only offered in seven other cities, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Seattle and San Francisco.  

“Pokemon Go,” an augmented virtual reality game where people around the community walk to catch Pokemon, has morphed into a community of people to play the game and also challenge each other in battles to be the champion of Pokemon.

To honor the nerds of Topeka and the most popular Pokemon, Pikachu, is a day full of free games to connect and to try the new game Nintendo is featuring. This exploration is called “Pokémon Let’s Go Road Trip.”

Houston Gonzales, double major in music and performance, comments on the fun and experience of playing Pokemon and what this day means for many people in the community.

“It’s actually a cool concept. It’s a fun thing to just bond over and hang out,” Gonzales said. “It’s an easy way for people to kind of look into Pokemon even though they may not know a lot about Pokemon so it’s easily accessible. It’s kind of cool for fans and non-fans.”

On July 6, 2016, Nintendo released “Pokemon Go,” which was a booming success. Now, the company struggles to retain the same profit as it did before. For “Pokemon Go,” Nintendo continues to add more features to gain more audiences.

Da’Vaun Elrod, music education major, believes the event is important to the Pokemon community, but not for everyone. 

“I just stopped caring for it to be honest. It was a lot to do so I just stopped playing. It was very time consuming,” Elrod said. “I think people are going to go out and do it. It will be a lot of fun. I know that [for] Saturday there will be a lot of hype about it.”

Pokemon is an interactive game that promotes creativity and community involvement that started with the comics. What started as card games, Nintendo now has the capability to move mountains, bring people together and change names of cities even if it’s for one day.