• Hello all,

      My name is Daniel Magley, and I’m the Caltech Pokémon Club Champion (President). I formed it along with my Elite 4 (Treasurer, Secretary, etc.) in our Freshman year. Here at Caltech the Pokemon Club is one of the larger organizations with 73 current student members, 25 alumni, and a few “honorary members” of students from all over the globe from Cambridge to Shanghai. The club strives to focus towards all aspects of the Pokémon fandom from video games, trading card game (TCG), shows, movies, manga, and art. We regularly attend local pre-release events for Pokémon TCG and larger tournaments for video games and TCG such as the Pokémon World tournaments.

      ~ Daniel

      Polemon GO craze hitting campuses all over the U.S. - Caltech (Photo - Staff).

      Polemon GO craze hitting campuses all over the U.S. – Caltech (Photo – Staff).

      Currently the Elite Four and myself are finishing up our biggest project yet, installing the Caltech Orange League. In the Pokémon games you travel through the Pokémon world to eight cities and battle what is essentially that city’s governor, the gym leader, in that city’s Pokémon Gym. If you successfully beat the gym leader (essentially a game boss battle), you get a gym badge designed to match the style of that gym.

      By Daniel Magley

      In the games there are 8 gyms. At Caltech we have 8 undergraduate houses (dorm communities that you join upon coming to Caltech as an Undergrad. Think Harry Potter and you have the idea). So my colleagues and I have rallied the houses into designing gym badges that reflect their house’s culture, and upon the 2017-2018 school year, each house will begin accepting challengers to battle their gym leader and collect all 8 badges. We hold the battles on a free online Pokémon battle simulator, Pokémon showdown, that allows you to create any Pokémon team you want in a matter of minutes. We hope this system will help introduce an exciting element to our club and further connect the club to the houses.

      The current Caltech Gym Badge Designs. (L – R) Avery, Dabney, Blacker, Flemming, Ruddock, Lloyd, Ricketts, and Page. Ricketts house design omitted, as they want winning challengers to have the right to see the glory of their badge (Photo - Caltech Pokémon Club).

      The current Caltech Gym Badge Designs. (L – R) Avery, Dabney, Blacker, Flemming, Ruddock, Lloyd, Ricketts, and Page. Ricketts house design omitted, as they want winning challengers to have the right to see the glory of their badge (Photo – Caltech Pokémon Club).

      Why Didn’t Club Membership Rise From Pokémon Go?

      When we first started the Pokémon Club, Pokémon Go hadn’t been released yet, and we had about 64 members. Surprisingly we gained very few members from Pokémon Go because a club can’t really cater to Pokémon Go, outside of providing chat groups and paying for lure items in the game’s current state. The game really lacks the player-to-player interactions that the main games have, such as trading Pokémon from player-to-player and battling/hosting tournaments. As a result, we only saw about a 16% bump in membership from the app’s popularity. However, should the aforementioned features be added, I would expect a significant increase as our club would be able to centralize a community like we have for the rest of the fandom.

      Despite the above criticism, I personally love the game and am lvl 36 under the username ChampionDMag.

      Daniel Magley is an undergraduate in Electrical Engineering at Caltech and is originally from Asheville NC. He works in Choo lab developing Microbots that travel through the human blood stream for targeted drug delivery and non-invasive surgery. When Daniel is not working, he can be commonly seen playing Pokémon Go on his Unicycle around Pasadena.


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