On one of their regular visits to Cape Point, our marketing team decided to participate in the latest craze, Pokemon Go. Here’s how marketing manager, Judiet Barnes, says it went down:
‘Let’s see what this Pokemon Go thing is all about and if any of those weird creatures are at Cape Point’ I said to my colleague Claire Kaplan on our way to a few on-site meetings. We downloaded the app en route and with a reluctant I-doubt-it’ll-work-anyway feeling (the signal is intermittent in the park), we got to the Cape of Good Hope gate and a strange blue thing awaited us at the entry. Little did I know at the time it’s an all-important PokeStop*.
Excitement started building as we wondered what will happen when the first Pokemon appears on-screen. I have vivid memories of my much younger brother with his addiction to Pokemon episodes on K-TV and his impressive collection of Pokemon cards and echoes of ‘I choose you Pikachu!’ spinning in my mind.
The 15-kilometre journey through the park to Cape Point started, and glassy-eyed we stared at the screen as we took the slow drive. Nothing. Five minutes pass, 10 minutes pass and we start nearing Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre, which marks half-way through the park. Debating ‘typical, nothing here’ and ‘thought it’s a useless chase with the bad signal’.
Next thing: Wham! A massive virtual structure appeared floating above Buffelsfontein’s roof. Not knowing what it is or what we’re doing, we started shrieking in excitement like a bunch of school girls. We discovered this was a Pokemon Go gym, one of a few in the park, we later discovered.
Then…ching! Our first Pokemon! ‘Oh! Oh! Oh! Where did it go? What do we do? Throw a ball? What ball? Noooo!!’ And then… ‘ YES! Got the bugger!’ After a happy dance we decide to move along so we don’t miss our first meeting for the day. As we pulled into the parking area another majestic gym appeared and about five Pokemon with it. We’re the only two screen-watchers running through the empty parking lot catching bats, rats and birds of all kinds, with laughter as crazy as Cruella De Vil and many stares from security guards along the way. Reluctantly we go to our meetings eager for a gab to find more of these obscure little creatures…
Four hours of meetings later and we were on our way back into town with four levels of Pokemon in the bag (without really trying, I may add). I am completely hooked (another eight levels later) and I can’t wait to head back to Cape Point and expand my collection.
*PokeStops are places in Pokemon Go that allow you to collect items such as eggs and more Poke Balls to capture more Pokemon