Kakao talk becomes a space of pre-rally against South Korea’s President

Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans have gathered Seoul last saturday demanding the resignation of President Park Geun-hye in one of the biggest protests in the country since its democratisation nearly 30 years ago. The rally continues almost everyday and Kakao talk encourages people to keep gathering together for the rally.


12/11/2016, image from <http://v.media.daum.net/>

The open chatting room of Kakao talk allows anyone can join the chatting room who have same interests. In this open chatting room, they share ideas, plan the rally and unite minds together. In other words, this mobile space (i.e. Kakao talk’s open chatting room) performs as a meeting room for pre-rally. Moreover, this chatting room enables people who don’t have rally companions to find like-minded people. Thus, Kakao talk open chatting room is like a bridge that connects people to people and further it brings them to participate in the rally at last. In addition, those participants are guaranteed anonymity as well.

Kakao talk leads a new type of assembly and demonstration culture in Korea. Through Kakao talk’s open chat room, people can actually participate in the rally and share their own ideas with each other. This means that, social media encourages people to take an active part in politics rather than just warching the situation on other media such as TV, News reports and etc.

Through using Kakao talk’s open charting room, Korean people are trying to find our hidden sovereignty together.

Pokemon Go in South Korea

Yesterday, the bus tickets to Sokcho (a city close to the border with North Korea) were almost sold out. The news about Pokemon Go was rapidly spread out to people in Korea through various social media. Actually, it was impossible to play that game because of some issues of using Google maps in South Korea. But, Pokemon is found in Sokcho!!!

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 5.37.12 PM

As you can see the map above, the yellow areas are restricted to play Pokemon Go but the pink triangle zone (Sokcho) is the only location that people do catch Pokemon in South Korea. Sokcho is too close to the border of North Korea, so some experts explained that Sokcho has not been classified as South Korea territory. Luckily (maybe?) we are now allowed to play Pokemon Go in South Korea but we have to go to Sokcho to play it. It takes almost 3 hours by car or bus from Seoul to Sokcho. But people are now heading to Sokcho to meet Pokemon through using their smartphones.

In accordance with the global Pokemon Go fever, the city hall of Sokcho prepared the Pokemon special package hastily. It provides the map of free wifi zone for Pokemon Go players who visit Sokcho city on its Facebook page and Twitter account. (see https://www.facebook.com/dreamsokcho/) Also there is a Pokemon Go team page (https://pokemongoclankorea.herokuapp.com) that allows Korean Pokemon Go players to join three different team group from all over the world to share information about Pokemon Go such as game tips.


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Free wifi map by Sokcho city

And the social commerce such as Tmon (ticketmonster.co.kr) sells the special shuttle bus package from Seoul to Sokcho for Pokemon Go hunters. People can purchase cheaper price of shuttle bus tickets through this social commerce website by using their smartphones.


Tmon’s special shuttle bus package for Pokemon Go in Sokcho, image from (www.ticketmonster.co.kr)

My timeline of Twitter is now all about Pokemon Go in Korea. It’s been only 1 day since people have found Pokemon Go is available in South Korea (Sokcho). There will be more stories and photos will be coming continuously for sure. So far, it is very interesting and exciting to see this unexpected AR (augmented reality) mobile game phenomenon in South Korea because we couldn’t expect that we can meet Pokemon in South Korea at all! I will keep reporting the news about Pokemon Go in Sokcho. (The bus tickets were already sold out for this coming weekend…you know what this means…)

I cannot go to Sokcho right now but I still can see and read other hunters’ stories and photos through social media. Oh!!! and I can’t catch Pokemon because they didn’t visit Seoul for this time, but I can ‘find’ or ‘catch’ Yakult Ajumma through using Yakult Ajumma app on my smartphone.