Kakao Friends in Hongdae

Brrrr. It’s cold in here. There must be some Toros in the atmosphere. Seriously though, the weather and temperature have been rapidly dropping here in South Korea. Just today we got hit with a cold front bringing strong winds and icy chills. So much for Autumn.

Today I had a date in Hongdae. Now, I know it’s weird. Big T dating. Aren’t you a shy, awkward, introvert? Yes, yes I am. However, I’ve been trying to put myself out there and become more social. So we are taking a walk freezing our butts off on the good date turned decent and came across something peculiar.

Okay, not peculiar. I just think its weird, even though I am in Korea and it does kinda makes sense. We found a Kakao Friends Concept Museum. Let me clear things up for you, the reader, and me, Big T. Kakao Friends are sort of mascot characters used for advertising and the emoji/emoticon system on the popular Korean App, Kakao. Kakao is a messenging app, similar to Line, Telegram, etc. A concept museum is a museum which has and probably rotates different themes. At least to my understanding. Even though we aren’t particular fans of Kakao Friends, we decided to check it out to warm up and get out of the cold. Bonus points for it being free.

As we descended down the escalator we were greeted by a larger than life Ryan. Ryan is a popular Kakao character. It is kinda cute. We discovered the current concept: Kakao Friends Games.

So Kakao Friends Games are games made by the people of Kakao and also games they offer/host through the app itself. The threw games it offered were: Battleground, Kakao Racing (similar to Mario Kart and I don’t know the Korean name), and Black Desert (an MMO or RPG. One I never heard of).

The first area was for Battlefield. I never played it, but my students love it. I don’t care much for shooters outside of Overwatch (because its more cartoony and less realistic), but it looked pretty cool. The small area was set up like an area from the game I am safely assuming. It had a photo op area where you can take a picture in from of an explosion with gear, mainly a frying pan (someone explain it to me), from the game. I took a photo, but my date wasn’t exactly the best photographer.

It also had a one minute parachute drop VR simulator. It was hard to play and kinda worth the 30 minute wait.

The second area was the Kakao Friends Racing game. They had a small model track, and a photo op zone set up like a winner circle. I actually don’t know what it is called. Think of like the olympics where first, second, and third place are standing to get the medals. I picked up the trophy but wasn’t suppose to apparently.

The racing game was set up like Mario Kart at an arcade. The pedals didn’t work, on purpose, so the kart’s speed was set. All we could use were the steering wheel, the breaks, and the items. Still a lot of fun, but really hard to control. I won first place somehow. I really hope that wasn’t my good luck qoutant for the year.

The last area was for Black Desert Remastered. Still do not know what type of game it is. My Korean skills aren’t that great, and my date said they couldn’t really explain it well in English. Eh, wasn’t planning on playing it ever.

There was armor from the game dispalyed along the wall. In the middle there was a map of the game’s country and an interactive book. The book would change what was in the map depending on what page you were on. Wish I could read it to get a better understanding. It also had an AR photo zone where one could selected from one od 4 photo back drops. However, the timer was short. Plus it was a one and done deal, so my photo came out awkward. We all know I don’t photograph well.

The last area was a gift shop. Everything has a gift shop. Items from the games could be bought, along with the museum’s own junk. Also, if you played along with the QR quest, you could unlock in game rewards and get a special prize. I don’t use Kakao to play games, so I feel it really wasn’t worth it.

Overall, it was a good time. Great chance to get out of the cold and free stuff is always fun to do. Until next time.


Categories: korea, Personal Life

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