Pokémon GO is serious business, and no, it is not just because businesses are jumping on the hype train, offering lures in-store to attract players inside. The whole world is serious about being the very best that at times, things do go awry.
You’ve probably read, or at least heard about how someone, and it’s not just children, getting into an accident while playing Pokémon GO. Most time this happen when players spatially unaware of their surrounding while having both eyes only stuck to the screen of their mobile phones.
Kids getting hit by a cars, someone falling into a ditch, or even people walking off a cliff, Yeah all this is happening outside of Singapore, but soon enough, you will definitely see reports on the papers and online about how people are getting situations that can be avoided if they just took the time to look up.
You know this is becoming a potential problem when there are insurance policies specifically for this game, albeit only a Russian bank, Sberbank , doing so. By the way, the Russian are also the first to tie in credit card cashback offers, as another of their banks, VTB, are offering double cashback for using their credit cards in-game.
The innocence of Pokémon too has been tarnished by a spate of crime sprees happening because of Pokémon GO. From armed robbers using the in-game lures to draw in players and target them at gunpoint, to robberies.
While we cannot exactly own guns here in Singapore, there is still opportunities for similar crimes to happen.
Oh crimes doesn’t necessarily just mean cases where someone harms another. Even things like trespassing are serious concerns as well, with Niantic, the developers of the game, even being sued for ‘encouraging trespassing’. A teenager even got killed when he trespassed into someone’s home.
Singapore Police Force Issues Advisory
Recognizing the many dangerous precedents found in countries where the game has been made available much earlier, Singapore is definitely taking steps that these dangerous situations do not befall citizens. There was even talk of studying the social impact it will have on the local society, which has since been heavily criticized.
Today the Singapore Police Force themselves took to social media, to release a public advisory to anyone intending to play the game.
Here are the steps in which they hope the public take heed of before you set out on your Pokémon journey:
· Be aware of your personal safety when out looking for Pokémon. You should play in pairs or as a group to ensure your personal safety.
· Watch where you are walking, be aware of your surroundings and do not walk out into roads without looking.
· Do not play the game and drive any vehicle or ride any personal mobility device at the same time. You cannot do both safely.
· Do not trespass onto restricted areas and private properties. Do not take pictures of restricted areas.
· Be aware that you are potentially sharing data with others; there could be potential criminals who may seek the opportunity to lure victims to their fake “Pokéstops”.
· Educate your children to stranger-danger at “Pokéstops”.
· Never reveal your personal information and watch out for fake apps or cheat tools. Cyber criminals can access your personal data to commit fraud or hack into your phone with viruses and malware.
Stay safe, and have fun!