Love it or hate it, you can’t deny the phenomenon that’s got the laziest potatoes off the couch and on to the streets. No, it isn’t motivation for healthy living, it’s Pokemon Go, and it’s downright bizarre. Children and seemingly well-adjusted adults finally have the same hobby- walking around with smartphones trying to catch cute little Pokemons. If you have no idea what this is about, here’s a little video to get yourself updated.
Of course in reality, people don’t look that pretty and calm and they certainly aren’t strolling in solitude when they go Pokemon hunting.
And if you thought it’s just another fad, here are some other bizarre facts that show you just what a powerful fad it really is.
It’s a sales booster
Big businesses, small businesses, and non-businesses are cashing into this great opportunity to literally be on someone’s map. Pokemon car rentals and private drivers are offering hourly and full-day trips to catch’em all in the comfort of air condition because walking to find Snorlax is just too much work. Think about it as the closest thing you can get to a safari in Singapore.
Large players like Capitaland have put up lures to attract customers, and Resorts World Sentosa even gives a 10% discount off admission ticket prices to Universal Studios if you show a screenshot of Pokemon caught in the vicinity. Marina Bay area have also been a hot spot for Pokemon Spawns.
On the plus side, it makes you visit interesting businesses on the island that you wouldn’t otherwise bother, like Qian Hu, the awesome ornamental fish farm. With one Pokéstop and one gym on their property, they sure drew in some National Day crowd.
It may just help in your Social Anxiety and Depression
Of course, there hasn’t’ been any studies to prove that, but if social media feedback is to be considered, then Pokemon Go seems to be providing some unintended relief for people with social anxiety and depression.
Playing the game has gotten people out of the house and interacting with people with the safety and common ground of finding Pokemon on their cell phones, hence helping to ease the anxiety of talking to new people. As for depression, well, it’s not the game per se that gets people feeling better, but it seems that the exercise (if you’re not driving around) from inevitably enhances your mood.
It could (and has been) used for crime
All is not rainbow and happiness in the land of Pokemon. Surely, the obsession with catching these cute little creatures will lead innocent people into deserted spots, especially well into the night.
In the US. It was reported that teenage robbers have used PokeStops to lure unsuspecting fans and rob them at gunpoint. Things are probably a lot tamer and safer in Singapore, but you never really know!
The game is banned in some countries
Not everyone sees Pokemon Go as the innocent harmless thing that it seems to be. Some countries have actually banned the game, or have issued warnings against playing it.
In Saudi Arabia, clerics have renewed a religious edict that warns against playing Pokemon as it is un-Islamic and Egypt had supposedly put a ban on the game for the same religious reasons.