Have You Caught ‘Em All Yet?

Image taken from KL Gadget Guy.

I’m pretty sure by now you have all heard about the current mobile phone phenomenon, Pokemon Go. It was recently released in Malaysia and when it went live on the first day, everyone went nuts for it. Once upon a time when our parents fought hard to keep mobile phones away from the dinner table, now they must have given up trying to establish a connection between themselves and their children.

Nowadays, I see many people, young and old alike, with their heads bent forward, eyes glued to the screens while walking aimlessly around the country. From pedestrian crossings to shopping malls, everyone is desperately trying to catch a Pokemon. There have been cases in the news where people have been grievously injured, fallen victims to robberies, and apparently, a body has been found as well!

Fortune.com reported that the “new mobile phone game, Pokemon Go, has become an overnight sensation with fans in the U.S. that has led to armed robberies in Missouri, the discovery of a body in Wyoming, and some minor injuries to fans who were distracted by the app.” The game developers and the police have advised the players to keep their heads up. Literally.

People.com has also reported that “Pokemon Go might be able to get people to exercise more as a means to catch ’em all, but it’s not without its risks as there have been injuries from tripping and falling over, car crashes, and sunburns as players desperately tried to catch their preferred Pokemon characters.

Yet, there have been businesses that are taking advantage of the trend to boost their sales, profits, and revenues. There are even websites that show you how to utilise the game and incorporate it into your marketing proposal! Times have certainly changed, there’s no doubt about that. But is it really all that worth it? Users of the hugely popular app are reportedly getting into all sorts of mishaps while tracking down the virtual creatures. Less cautious players are also putting themselves at risk of car accidents as they attempt to throw Pokéballs at Pikachu while driving around.

Naturally, I was under the impression that one can only play the game if one walked about outside. But it really isn’t the case now that I’ve seen many Malaysian drivers holding up traffic on the major roads and highways all for their selfish reasons of wanting to catch a rare Pokemon. Traffic is bad enough in Klang Valley as it is. We could do with less stupid antics on the road. While I admit that the game is indeed fun and entertaining, it is only a matter of time when the statistics for crime and road accidents start to increase. Drivers should not resort to playing the game if they are at the wheel. Passengers, on the other hand, can play the game for the drivers if they wish to do so.

What are your thoughts on the game, though? Do you play it? Have you tried catching one? Do you know how to catch one? Wait, do you even have the game on your smartphone?

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