TRAINER LEVEL: 40
FAVORITE POKÉMON: SQUIRTLE
CLAIM TO FAME: COMMUNITY LEADER / THE SILPH ROAD / THE SILPH ARENA
THE INTERVIEW - GIT GOOD!
G2G: First, can you tell me your in-game Trainer name, level, and your favorite Pokémon? Is there a reason it is your favorite? Also, what do you do in your daily life?
MelGood711: My trainer name, melgood711, is a nickname I have had since high school with my graduation years tacked on the end. I’m Level 40 (times 7 now), and my favorite Pokémon is, you guessed it, Squirtle!! Squirtle was my first starter back in Pokémon Blue. I instantly fell in love, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Squirtle is the goodest boi, and I even have a French copy of Squirtle from the TCG. My love for Squirtle is pretty well known around the Pokeverse now.
By day I raise funds to make musical theater happen–I have a Master of Public Administration in Public and Nonprofit Management because I knew after I finished my undergraduate degree that I wanted to work in nonprofit theater. Right now, the main focus is sustaining my organization until we can Raise the Curtain on our 75th Anniversary Season in May of 2021. Outside of producing local musical theater in Pittsburgh, we also contribute to the creation and development of shows on Broadway, including recent Tony Award® winners Kinky Boots and An American in Paris.
G2G: What got you into Pokémon/Pokémon GO? Were you into Pokémon before GO was released? What do you like the most about Pokémon in general? Do you have a favorite feature in PGO?
MelGood711: I grew up with Pokémon, so nostalgia was a huge factor in getting into the game. I played the original Gameboy games growing up and dabbled in the TCG. My husband introduced me to Ingress in 2014, which led us to the Beta for Pokémon GO. And from the Beta, we were able to officially start on 7/5/2016 (a day early in the US) and have been addicted ever since.
What has kept me playing is the community. My local community, Pokémon GO Pittsburgh, is wonderful, and I feel so lucky to have been able to develop real-life friendships through this game. My amazing #GirlsThatPvP lobby, Girls Play Rough, has also been such a supportive group of women on so many levels, and I feel lucky to call them friends, sisters even. And my unbelievable Silph Family–they have been such an incredible part of my life for the last 2+ years, and some days I don’t know where I would be without them.
G2G: What attracted you to the PvP Aspect of PGO? Was it something you enjoyed in the main series games and carried over?
MelGood711: I was not interested in PvP when it was first released. At the time, I had just been promoted to Ranger of my state in Silph Global Leadership, so I felt that I had an obligation to learn and understand how the Arena worked in order to better serve my community and the communities across the state. I started immediately by helping organize tournaments because I love event planning, and then I never really stopped. And the more I got involved, the more I found areas where things could improve or could grow that I kept bringing to the Arena team. A few months later, in July of 2019, I was recruited to be on the Arena staff, and now I’m just obsessed and can’t get enough!
G2G: Do you have any advice for young women who want to get into Battling or who have just started and are struggling to find their way?
MelGood711: There are so many remarkable female role models in the PvP community who are out there making content and actively battling. The best advice I can give is to reach out to those women. Make connections, join the #GirlsThatPvP server, follow and support female content, and surround yourself with these spectacular Lady Battlers. And I always open my DMs to anyone who wants or needs support. I am happy to connect you with some of the extraordinary ladies who have changed my life, become my friends, and are people I truly look up to! We need to stick together and lift each other up until women stop being the exception in gaming culture and start being the norm.
G2G: Lastly, if you had to highlight the most positive Pokémon GO experience you have had so far, be it PvP, Community, etc. what would it be and why?
MelGood711: Just one?! This is the hardest question yet! I can’t pick one because I have a tie between two:
#1- August 3-4, 2019: Ralts Community Day and the Pittsburgh Double Header Mirror Cup with Kieng. I got to meet so many people from the PvP Community like MissMystic, JimmaBanks, HouseStark, Shagnuss, and so so many others. All these names I interacted with on social media but never in person. We did Mirror Twilight and Regionals metas in back-to-back tournaments. It was 13 rounds of PvP madness, but a rewarding experience as both a player and an organizer. And to be able to highlight my local community on such a big stage was such a pleasure and honor. Massive shout out to our local game store, Mr. Nice Guy Games, for always being willing to host us! I like to think this was the kick-off of the crazy Mega Tournament circuit since we stepped up to Kieng’s call for more hosts after Philly hosted him for Rainbow Cup (cause let’s be real, we couldn’t let Philly show up Pittsburgh #BlackAndYellow).
#2- September 29, 2019: The Pokémon GO Pittsburgh End of Summer Bash. We hosted a potluck picnic with fun, games, and adult beverages for those of age. We gave some awards to our outstanding PvP community members and had some time to hang out and get to know each other outside of Battling. We did raids, made trades, and shared so many laughs together. We also got to see the new bench that the community raised funds for to help with park renovations and updates as a thank you for letting us continue to play there. It was such a joy to celebrate the friendships we’ve made and the successes of our community.
Truly none of this would have been possible without The Silph Road, so I need to give a huge thank you to Dronpes for changing my life in ways I had no idea were possible. I am very grateful to be a part of this team that has enriched my life and brought me into this crazy wonderful community of people.
WE LOVE US SOME MEL
When you think of the qualities a Community Leader embodies, Mel has all of them and more. She loves our community and tirelessly works to support everyone. When she says if you need anything to reach out, she means it. She is one of the most enjoyable bio’s we have done so far, and we wish her nothing but the best.