Gotta catch ’em all at RSC

Today is the day to break out your 3DS and Pikachu hoodie as trainers of pocket monsters, fans and curious onlookers gather from noon to 2 p.m. Friday in the Rhatigan Student Center, Room 142 (Harvest Room) for Pokéfest, an annual celebration of all things Pokémon.

Wichita State’s Student Activities Council is sponsoring the event this year, the highlight of which will be a tournament for the sixth generation of the series, “Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire,” the latest pair of role-playing video games developed for the Nintendo 3DS game system.

The tournament champion will take home an engraved trophy.

In addition to the tournament, Pokéfest aims to deliver entertainment for non-gamers, as well. Other Pokéfest activities will include button-making, a Nintendo 64 Snap setup with “Pokémon Stadium,” trivia and space for spectating, free-play, trading and more.

Cookies will be served.

Pokémon is an enduring media franchise based on cute fictional monsters called “Pokémon,” which players capture and train to battle other players’ Pokémon — a contraction of Japanese words meaning “Pocket Monster.” Started as a pair of Game Boy titles in 1995, the Pokémon franchise now includes numerous video games, animated TV shows, movies, collectable card games, comic books, toys, clothing and more.

In the game, players capture wild Pokémon with Pokéballs and add them to their collection. Different types of Pokémon have different moves in the game, which are matched against the strengths and weaknesses of opponents’ Pokémon.

As Pokémon fight, they level up, growing stronger and learning new moves. Players often grow attached to their Pokémon characters, sometimes even naming them.

The goal of the game is to defeat other players and collect badges until a champion emerges.

The appeal of the Pokémon franchise — particularly its game — is the vast number of things you can do with it, said Tyler Bird, Shocker Fusion chair.

“For Pokémon, you can collect them all, train the best, find the cutest and trade them,” he said. “You can play the story or side quests or other miscellaneous activities.”