My first taste of Pokémon was in year 2000, when I owned a Nintendo Gameboy. I used to be so addicted to playing that game I would take it to school with me even though it was not allowed. So, I was really excited when I heard that it was back. But that excitement soon turned into disappointment because I can’t really play it in my ‘hood Tembisa, as some of the features don’t exist.
Inequality stretched into the gaming world
First of all, there are no Pokéstops or gyms. For those who have never played the game before, Pokéstops are places that allow you to collect eggs and Poké Balls to help you capture more Pokémon. Walking around with my face buried in my phone earned me strange looks from my neighbours and other people who passed me by.
But all for nothing, because one day, after playing the game for three hours, I only caught about eight Pokémon. In comparison, in Braamfontein, I can catch up to five in 30 minutes. I remember trying to catch a Zubat (a blue bat with purple wings) in Difateng Section, Sparrow Street. It was so unexpected and it blew my mind when I eventually caught it in the middle of the road.
It’s a bit ironic that even in the gaming world, inequality is still so real that playing Pokémon Go in Tembisa is less exciting than playing it in town or in the suburbs where all sorts of features exist. I just hope that as time goes by the creators of the game will include my ‘hood