Gotta catch ’em all

Pokémon wasn’t just an animation and card game fad of the 1990s; it’s being kept alive in The Pokémon Club at Florida Gulf Coast University.
The club was created and coordinated by FGCU student Taylor Broad.
“Our club meetings are basically a gathering of people. We play the Trading Card Game, watch Anime — in Japanese when available) —  play the video game and sometimes host workshops to better everyone in the club,” Broad said.
According to Broad, the best way to get involved in the Pokémon Club is to consistently partake in the meetings and events.
The next upcoming event is Saturday, Nov. 22. The club will host an Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire game release party. The club will also show the extended, un-cut version of both Pokémon movies: “The First Movie” and “Pokémon 2000: The Power of One.”
Broad said he decided to start the club to make an impact at FGCU as well as the local community. To make the impact he wanted, he decided to start a Pokémon League that was sanctioned by The Pokémon Company International.
TPCI manages leagues and tournaments around the world. Broad said that bringing this league to FGCU would give students the opportunities to earn transferable scholarships for higher education.
According to TPCI, the scholarships go to the top finishers at the Pokémon U.S. National championships and the Pokémon World Championships.
The scholarship may be applied to the tuition, books, fees, supplies and equipment necessary for courses.
The scholarship amount is decided on an event-by-event basis.
Broad’s goal is to not only help FGCU students achieve these scholarships but also to local kids in the community that are interested.
“The club is 100 percent brand new to the university,” Broad said. “We hope to make a huge impact our first year in operation.”
Broad has been in and out of the Pokémon franchise over the years. Now that he’s in college he decided to get back into it because it’s more fun and complex than it was years ago.
According to TPCI, Pokémon tournaments are live events that give players the opportunity to compete against each other in the Pokémon trading card games or the Pokémon video games. In these games the player takes on the role of a young Pokémon trainer. The trainer travels all over this universe catching and training Pokémon and battling against other Trainers’ Pokémon.
Although the Pokémon Franchise was created in Japan in 1996, the first Pokémon video games were not released until 1998.
The main goal of the games is to become the Pokémon League Champion. There are many other tasks to accomplish throughout the game including catching and cataloging all of the Pokémon within the game’s world.
In the Pokémon trading card game, players build decks around their favorite Pokémon and then play against each other sending their Pokémon into battle to prove who is the best Pokémon Trainer.
Broad said that in the future he would like to host the Fort Myers City Championships to bring people from around the state to compete and qualify for the World Championships.
FGCU now hosts The Pokémon Club on campus in Merwin Hall 110 from 5 to 8 p.m. Fridays.