Their popularity may be slipping, but there are still pockets of people loitering around catching the cute little monsters, particularly in MBS, where I suppose all the rare monsters frolic about. Let me just set this straight. No I do not play Pokemon Go, nor am I interested in starting. The only things I have now connected to Pokemon was my manicure (which I really didn’t intend it to be that way – It was just meant to be a beautiful combo of sunny yellow and shiny chrome purple) and my lone Pokemon card. I do wish I could capitalise on the craze and actually have a collection to sell though. But anyway, back to Pokemon Go. I found it quite amusing to watch the anti-Pokemon Go people and Pokemon Go fans fight it out online. On one hand, the anti-fans insisted that Pokemon Go players cause accidents, and label them as nincompoop, revelling on the demise of ‘idiots’ who self-destruct on every turn they make on the street. On the other, fans concluded that Pokemon Go are what saved them from their previously sad, pathetic lives, allowing them to bond with their friends and family and even strangers, and that Pokemon Go actually helps uncover crimes as unsuspecting players stumble upon dead bodies led to them by their cutesy pocket monsters.
Pokemon Go is just a game. It doesn’t have the power to kill or the power to bond. All these incidents happen due to the users of the game, who are humans and hence have the ability to create positivity or cause chaos, because we are living, breathing creatures. So really, anti-fans and fans should stop hating on each other. True enough, as a non-player, I can’t comprehend the craze, and was inclined to mock at the players initially. Till I realised that people close to me have started playing, and I asked them what exactly drives them to play. For most, it is to be closer to their loved ones, who play the game as well. With a reason like this, how can I continue to scoff at the players? Even without such reason, it is just a game anyway, I used to be an avid gamer myself, so I should very well understand how it feels like to indulge in gaming.
I wish though, there could be a game that is more engaging than just catching Pokemons. I get it, they are kind of cute, I guess. But I have always been more into games with beautiful graphics like Final Fantasy, that’s why games like Pokemon Go will never grab my fancy, even if they are based in the real world. If my kind of game could be based in the real world, well I think there will definitely be chaos, since it’s hack and slash. But if, actually I think it’s more of a when, when players can venture into virtual reality (something like Matrix) rather than just augmented reality I would totally jump on board. There is this particular manga (or should I say, manhwa, as it’s a Chinese comic) called ‘1/2 Prince’, which explores this concept of virtual reality playing in the future, where humans can transform into any cool character they want to be, and perform amazing stunts like casting spells and executing suave moves with a sword.
Okay, I digress. Again, as per usual. Back to Pokemon Go. While I have no issues with the game, Pokemon Go players can be a mild annoyance and occasional source of amusement, depending on my mood. Once walking down Orchard, I marvelled at the fact that I had to walk in a zigzag line down the very straight street along Wisma, due to the sheer amount of people merely standing together in groups staring down at their phones. Whether they cause accidents or not, really depends on individuals who are aware of their surroundings or are just simply too absorbed in their phones. We don’t need Pokemon Go to have people who injure themselves while using their phones, as evident from cases of unfortunate selfie-inflicted accidents. I have almost fell down a flight of stairs myself just by focusing really hard on my phone. So it is up to yourself whether you want to protect yourself from pain and danger even as you indulge in your game or just plain net-surfing. So have fun, but don’t forget to be vigilant!