Frank Kane: Discretion the better part of valour with Pokemon kept at bay

I haven’t seen anybody walking around the Dubai International Financial Centre, mobile in hand, shouting 'Gotcha Pikachu'.
Pokemon Go is currently available in over 30 countries, including the US, Canada and much of Europe, but Gulf countries have so far been off the list. Chris Helgren / Reuters
Pokemon Go is currently available in over 30 countries, including the US, Canada and much of Europe, but Gulf countries have so far been off the list. Chris Helgren / Reuters

It was suggested to me that this Notebook should be an occasion to delve into the phenomenon of Pokemon Go, and I can see the logic.

The game that has taken the world by storm is certainly a suitable case for some light-hearted irreverence. Anything that causes people to bust into occupied restrooms in their hunt for virtual-reality characters must be examined in all its granular detail, and I will get around to it.

But until seven-year-old Amira, my daughter, catches on to the Pokemon craze, I don’t think I’ll have enough material. She is already interested, and has tried to download it on her newly acquired mobile, a result of our New York trip, but with no success so far.

(Is seven too young to have a smartphone, even if it is my wife’s hand-me-down? I’d welcome readers’ comments.)

I’m hoping Amira will stay Pokemon-less for a while, and am giving her no assistance, because I know that once she gets it, she will be all-consumed by the obsession. That is better put off until the last possible moment.

In my own world, I haven’t yet had much direct exposure to it. I haven’t seen anybody walking around the Dubai International Financial Centre, mobile in hand, shouting “Gotcha Pikachu”. In the Capital Club, the epicentre of the DIFC’s social life, I can report that absolutely nobody was on the hunt last night.

Or at least not for Pokemon. The club, under relatively new management in the form of general manager Christian Horvath, is taking on a new lease of life, and there was plenty to arouse the curiosity of an inquisitive journalist.

I was there to meet a world-famous best-selling author, who was handing over a review copy of his latest oeuvre for my inspection. But it is all rather complicated. He does not want his identity revealed, at least not until he signs the Hollywood deal to film his book that I’m told is currently being negotiated. So you will just have to be patient, at least until I’ve read the book.

I can offer a tantalising glimpse by informing you it is a “masterful and often humorous thriller” which features a fictional Dubai policeman, Omar Shamoon, who I predict is destined to become a UAE equivalent of Holmes or Poirot. More will be revealed later.

The author – let’s just use his initials OK? – introduced me to some of the new staff at the CapClub, who are helping to lift the “stodgy” image it used to have: Liz, the Colombian cigar waitress who has apparently increased sales overnight; Noor, the glamorous head of communications who is brimful of ideas for taking the club to the next level; and Julia, who seems perfectly equipped for her role as head of private events. Wonderful company, all of them.

But they, and Mr Horvath, were busy: there was a business celebrity in the club, for a surprise event to mark a new job. I am sworn to secrecy about his identity too, because it was a private event. But he is an executive from a global household name who is going off to a much bigger job at the corporation.

Sorry I could not be more illuminating on the names, but hope, dear reader, you understand. Journalism is often like that. Knowing things that you cannot divulge, keeping people in the dark until it’s time to be revealed, running round chasing things that may or may not exist. A bit like Pokemon Go, really.

fkane@thenational.ae

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Published: July 19, 2016 04:00 AM

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