Pokémon Go Craze Sweeps NVIDIA Silicon Valley Campus

by Nicole Castro

Interns. Engineers. Even the CEO is talking about it. Pokémon are all over our Silicon Valley Campus — and the construction site across the street where we’re erecting our new building. And we just can’t stop playing.

Meowth can be found in one of NVIDIA’s parking lots.

With its glass walls and triangular skyline, Endeavor, our new building in Santa Clara, is an undeniably eye-catching site. Since the Pokémon Go craze came to life this week, it’s also been a pokémon-catching site, attracting players from inside and outside the company.

Of course, that’s not our only link to the Pokémon craze. One of the founders of the company behind Pokémon Go — Niantic CEO John Hanke — once led Keyhole, a company NVIDIA backed in 2002, and which was later acquired by Google.

But that’s the past. This is our present — and it’s been overrun with virtual versions of the diminutive critters that — if you’re under 30 — you almost certainly spent a big chunk of your childhood playing with.

People have been flocking to our Santa Clara campus after discovering a pokémon gym, where players can battle and train their pokémon against one another, was pinned via GPS to the construction site.

Unfortunately for the game’s fans, players are unable to enter the site due to safety reasons. (In fact, a locked fence has been added around the construction site to keep people safe.)

Endeavor’s pokémon gym is called “Moo-Chu’s Diner,” a nod to a restaurant on the site that shut down years ago. Pokémon Go borrows many of its location names from another augmented reality game called Ingress, first released in 2012, explained Bill Rehbock, our general manager of mobile games.

“This is why locations like Moo-Chu’s no longer exist,” but can be found in Pokémon Go, Bill said.

Spearows hide in front of NVIDIA’s Nth Street Cafe.

Instead of entering the Endeavor pokémon gym, players can select one of six other pokéstops on our Santa Clara campus. These include the bridge in front of our Nth Street Café, known as the Vidal E. Limpin Memorial Skyway, itself a tribute to a dedicated NVIDIAN, employee No. 74.

The result: game-crazy NVIDIANs have been hanging around this pokéstop, and others, to catch as many pokémon as they can.