CATCHING THEM ALL, POKEMON GO UNOFFICIALLY GOES VIRAL IN SOUTH AFRICA.

2016-07-11 13:39

image from Pokemon Go South Africa Facebook Page.

Something strange is happening in the streets of South Africa. It's 2 am and your dogs start barking so you get up to see what it is, and in the park across the road from your house you see a group of 4 adults standing, faces lit up by their cell phone screens, laughing like little kids. Do you call the cops? Are they doing drugs? No, neither. You go and join them and take the Gym they are battling at, because they are playing the Augmented Reality game Pokémon GO! Putting Pokémon in front of you.

Me with a Caterpie in the street.

Pokémon hit televisions around the world nearly 20 years ago and took South Africa by storm. My age group was addicted to it, there were all sorts of Pokémon paraphernalia hitting the shelves of stores across the country. Our parents will testify to this due to all the money they spent on keeping our addiction alive.

So naturally when the Pokémon GO app hit Google and iPhone stores, we wanted in, and we wanted in hard. The official release hasn’t been rolled out to South Africa yet, however some clever folks have sorted out an APK and other methods of using Pokémon Go. Be careful of backdoor hacked versions that are set to take over your phone maliciously!

I’ve been out until 2am already, looking for rare Pokémon, battling gyms, and meeting some really cool people, offline and online on Discord which I found through the Pokémon Go South Africa Facebook Page with over 1500 members now and growing.

 “I am honestly so surprised at how many people I know are already playing Pokémon Go. I never knew that there were so many Pokémon fans still, especially in my circles. I’m 29 years old”. Says GordozZA (username) admin at the Pokémon Go Subreddit. As a lifelong Pokémon fan, GordozZA who lives in Alberton, Johannesburg says he is really excited that Pokémon Go is here, and says it’s the closest thing to real life, fulfilling a childhood dream.

Durban North Team Valor member Koala says he was lying in bed at 8pm bored when he decided to check Pokémon Go out, and saw a Pokéstop down the road from where he lives.

“So I did what any sane person would do, I got up and put some pants and a shirt and ran down the street with my phone and power bank. Then across the road at the steers I saw a small group smiling at me, and I knew.” Koala says he has never done that before but says he has met so many people through the game and even been out late at night with friends exploring and catching Pokémon.

The adorable Pokemon Pikachu. image via 9Gag

There is really no end to the magic and having strange requests for other people in order to catch the best Pokémon and get the best Pokéstops. Sarah M @iSarahaha (Twitter) from Boskruin, Randburg says she had to beg a guard at an office park just so she could get to a Pokéstop.

“I am absolutely loving Pokémon Go, it’s the greatest thing since Sonic when it came out. I’ve also found a quirky way of naming my Pokémon. My phone doesn’t use autocorrect, it throws out suggestions for words, so I have a Sandshrew named Andrew, and a Rattata called Fritatta.”

So there it is, join the Facebook group, get onto Discord and chat to the friendly admin and mods High Clone, Maugin, RioganZ, Kylo and Doomdrone, and start by joining Team Valor… I mean a team there are three to choose from Valor, Instinct and Mystic. Go out and explore the world, and you’ll get fit while you’re at it, we've been waiting for this since we were kids!

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