Many would assume no one’s around on a Monday night at 5 p.m. in the Humanities building, but if you look through the slit glass of the door to Room 57, you can see a group of 20 to 30 people.
Some are playing Pokémon on their Nintendo 3DS consoles asking about whether or not someone has a perfectly bred Ditto that they can borrow. While on the other side, some gather to battle with their Pokémon cards.
This is the Pokémon Club at the University of Tennessee. Everyone wants to trade. Everyone wants to battle. Whether or not it’s through the 3DS games or the card games, anyone, at any level of experience, can come.
Tanner Biederman has been the president of the Pokémon club for the past two and a half years.
“It started out really small,” Biederman said. “I just made some flyers, found an empty room in HSS and claimed it as my own for Pokémon Club.”
The Pokémon Club became an official club last year, although students have been coming for the past two and a half years for movie showings, Pokémon battles and pre-releases for new Pokémon cards.
“It’s been pretty great,” Galon Greer, a long-time Pokémon Club member, said. “Just having an open time dedicated to where I can just play Pokémon without sacrificing homework … has really helped out.”
Not only are people capable of exchanging friendcodes to access new friend Pokémon Safaris in their games, they also become friends in real life. Biederman even met his roommate at the Pokémon Club.
“We can just come here, and we can either play video games for the entire hour or talk about what’s going on in the world … or something completely unrelated but somehow still relates to Pokémon,” Greer said.
Even while in the heat of a battle, everyone will still help each other in getting whatever Pokémon they need afterwards.
“I like getting to meet a lot of people with a similar interest,” Biederman said. “Especially since it’s kind of a nerdy thing, and we have a stereotype of being an antisocial bunch; it’s a place where people who may be like that can feel comfortable.”
For more information on the Pokémon Club, check out their Facebook group here.
For any questions about Pokémon Club, contact Tanner Biederman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edited by Maggie Jones