Being a Toledo area business, and avid Pokemon GO players ourselves, Nerd Nation has been following one local player in his quest to reach Level 40 in the game. Shane Hutchinson has played for 5 months and racked up 20 million XP in Pokemon GO, a mobile game developed by Naintic, Inc. Shane is a local celebrity among players in Toledo, and one of the nicest people playing the game. He’s always willing to help other players, set lures by the dozens and share what he has learned along the way. Reaching Level 40 is a huge accomplishment and Shane is just the third person in Ohio to achieve that status, having missed being the first in the state by just a day. We asked Shane to share a little about himself and his game play.
When did you start playing Pokemon GO?
“I started playing on July 7.”
What was the device you used to play Pokemon GO?
“I used a Samsung Galaxy S4 to play.”
What Pokemon was your starter? Which Team are you a member of?
“I picked Charmander as my starter and I picked Team Valor because I like the red team and Fire Pokemon are my favorite. Also Shiny Moltres is the coolest looking Pokemon.”
Over the course of 40 levels, do you know how many gyms you have controlled at one time or other? What’s the longest you held a gym?
“Since I mainly focused on XP I rarely ever did gyms, but the most I have held at one point was 18. The longest time I held a gym was for about 2 months.”
Before Pokemon GO, had you played any of the handheld versions of Pokemon before? Which was your favorite?
“Yes I have played Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, Crystal, Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald, Firered, and Diamond. My favorite was either Emerald or Crystal but I put the most time into Ruby. I had over 500 hours and actually managed to get all 386 Pokemon. The last one I needed was a Kingdra.”
On what date did you reach level 40? Do you remember the last Pokemon you caught right before 40?
“I reached level 40 on December 2 at 2:58 AM. The last Pokemon I caught before 40 was most likely a Pidgey but I am not that sure about that. I just remember I evolved a Squirtle into a Wartortle to level up at the very end.”
On average, how many hours did you play each day? Each week?
“I averaged at least 7 1/2 – 9 hours a day for a while when I worked at Target and then I left for a new job and during unemployment I would average 10-12 a day. I did over 14 hours about 6 times and 24 hours twice.”
Have you met other level 40’s online or off? Do you know how many others have reached this level?
“I have never met any other level 40s, one person, however, posted they hit level 40 also on my level 40 screenshot post in the Toledo Facebook group page for Pokemon Go (Pokemon Go Toledo Nests). I had never even seen any people that were level 40 and cheating in any gyms before I hit 40 also. 105 people reached level 40 before me, 23 in the US and 2 in Ohio. If I had never taken a break I could of been in the top 20 overall.”
What Pokemon do you think you’d like as your buddy in real life?
“In real life I think the coolest Pokemon to have as my buddy would probably be either Jirachi, Tyranitar, Charizard, or Arceus. Jirachi can grant Wishes, Tyranitar is my favorite Pokemon, Charizard would be cool to fly on, and Arceus is just the God of all Pokemon.”
What is the best advice you can give to a new GO player?
“The best advice I can give a new Pokemon Go player is to catch every single thing you can. Especially Pidgeys, Weedles, Rattatas, and Caterpies. They are easy XP for leveling up and you have to level up in order to get stronger Pokemon. You should also save all your stardust until you reach at least level 32 and use it only on Pokemon with an IV over 95%. Making friends in the community is also very important, especially with those of your own team color. You have to socialize to make it far into the game and be successful.”
Where is your favorite location to play and why?
“My favorite location to play is in my nearest home city in Downtown Toledo, mainly because I have spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours there and I know literally every single spawn point, where specific Pokemon spawn at most frequently, and where the Downtown nest/rare spawn points are. I also know how to navigate the city very quickly as I have spent so much time down there that I know exactly what routes to take based off of the time on lights to get from Point A to Point B if someone says something spawned across the city. Maumee is also a good place since it has a higher spawn rate of rare Pokemon such as wild Dragonites, Snorlaxes, and Lapras. Detroit has had the biggest variety of Pokemon out of anywhere I have been though.”
Do you have any take away from your journey?
“Honestly from playing Pokemon I have just made tons of friends and I have always spent all my time socially deprived of friendships with other people. I have always been more of a loner and just a huge gamer in general, in fact I actually run a YouTube channel. Being confined in my house glued to my computer monitor I never got out much until this game released. Since then I have made tons and tons of friends and being the highest level in my city I am very well known which is just surreal and very awesome of a feeling.”
What do you plan on doing until Generation 2 is released?
“Until Generation 2 is released I will continue to show my team’s dominance across my city by attacking gyms and gaining more XP as I go since you can go past the 20 million XP required to hit level 40. I figure it might be about 6 million XP to get from 40-41 when they add more levels so I want to get to 26 million so I can level up instantly at that time. I will also finish catching Pikachus and fighting Pokemon for my other medals and I will help anyone in my local community with whatever they need help with. There are a bunch of lures around the city’s baseball field and every now and then for a fun time I might light every one of them up so people can have an awesome experience playing. I also need to save up on candies for every Pokemon to start powering them up.”
Can you tell us a little about yourself? Age? Work? Hobbies?
“I am 22 years old, right now I work at Meijer in retail, and in my spare time I either play my Xbox, Pokemon Go, or hang out with friends. As I stated before I am also maintaining a YouTube channel which I am trying to get more subscribers to, the link is Youtube.com/silentizloud. I based my username off of it so more people could check it out. My name in Pokemon I picked was YTsilentizloud the YT stands for YouTube.”
“Oh and the last Pokemon I caught was actually a Paras.”
Some statistics from Shane:
“I am the 106th level 40 in the world. 24th in the USA, 3rd in Ohio. 1071.1km walked, 31473 total Pokemon caught, 6079 evolutions, 1652 egg hatches, and 40878 Pokestop spins.”
And that all adds up to one great game for Shane! Congratulations!