Shippensburg University’s Pokémon Club catches Nintendo fans with free weekly Pokémon Trading Card Game Online’s (PTCGO) and promotion cards, and retains their involvement with fellowship among video game fanatics.
SU student Ben Huan created Pokémon Club in 2011 to give individuals who enjoy playing Pokémon a place to meet new people and play together.
“There weren’t any other Pokémon leagues nearby [at the time] and from what I’ve seen, other campuses already had one — it was kind of a no-brainer,” Pokémon Club President Emma Starr said.
Because SU’s Pokémon Club remains one of the few publicized Pokémon leagues in the area, it attracts both SU students and Shippensburg community member involvement.
“We still have a couple non-students come in every week due to this Pokémon league being closer than any others where they reside,” Starr said.
The Pokémon Club strives to remain all-inclusive and openly welcomes those who enjoy Pokémon, Trading Card Game and playing video games to attend its weekly meetings and events, even if they have never attended a Pokémon Club meeting before.
While Pokémon Club is a relatively new organization at SU, its outreach efforts have been recognized. “We won the ‘Best New Student Group Award’ in the Student Life Awards last semester,” Starr said. “We won it against around five other groups that entered for that category, so that has got to mean something.”
Pokémon Club meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Ceddia Union Building (CUB) Fireside Lounge. Club meetings are informal and consist of discussing and playing PTCGO against one another. Members may leave the meeting whenever they want, but individuals typically play for two to three hours.
Aside from members casually playing PTCG or PTCGO against other members, once or twice a year Pokémon Club ups the stakes with an organized tournament where they play against each other for prizes.
Before tournament day, the club takes a headcount to know how many members plan on participating. Tournament participants are then required to contribute a monetary amount to cover the cost of cards. The contribution varies and depends on how cheap the Pokémon playing cards can be found to purchase.
“Everyone will get six to eight packs the night of the tournament,” Starr said. “Then with whatever they pull, they will construct a 40-card deck in a slightly modified 4-prize game of the Pokémon TCG.”
Tournaments that include outside Pokémon Leagues have yet to be organized by Pokémon Club, but Starr hopes to look into making it possible next semester.
To learn more about Pokémon Club and its weekly meetings, contact Starr at firstname.lastname@example.org.