By Nathan Schmidt
In the era of Covid-19, in-person tours of Fairfield campus are a thing of the past. But student tour ambassador Raymond Shampi ‘21 has found a new and revolutionary way to attract new prospective students online to Fairfield University: advertising the campus’ offerings in Pokémon Go.
“There are so many more gyms than there used to be,” said Shampi while sharing his phone screen over Zoom. “Look at all of these! The stag statue — it’s a gym! Alumni Diamond — it’s a gym! Someone put in the Cross Vee sculpture as ‘Yellow Steel Art Piece’! You’ll never run out of places to explore!”
The mobile phone game Pokémon Go made a tremendous impact in its debut year of 2016 for its use of augmented reality and real-world locations, encouraging players to leave their homes and explore public venues together. Shampi, who began as a part-time student in fall of the same year, still remembers that first fateful summer when mobs of phone-wielding college kids swarmed over Fairfield campus in search of the latest spawn locations.
“I still have a Blastoise from back then,” said Shampi.
Some of Shampi’s peers have raised concerns about the game being “unrelated to the university’s offerings” or “not a real thing anymore,” but Shampi vehemently disagrees. He has cited the game as not only improving his knowledge of campus history, but also giving him a continually relevant outlet for socializing with friends.
Shampi added, “I know, like, six people who still play this game. That’s up from last year. If we get a few more, we could actually do legendary raids again. Lugia, make way for Therian Tornadus! That’s what I’m talking about! Tier five raid hype!”
After the interview, Shampi’s roommate Carli Nitro ‘21 commented, “It’s actually been a pretty good way of keeping him out of trouble. The raids end at 9 PM, so he never bothers going to parties.”
No doubt, students next year will be enthralled by Raymond Shampi’s proselytizing for this game that upwards of several people still play.