Since its launch on Saturday, Pokemon GO has been taking Singapore by storm.
A convert to the “Dark Side”, I found myself wandering into neighbourhood parks near my place which I’ve not been to before, and muttering “Wah wah see these people!”, only to realise that I too was one of “these people”.
Admittedly, I got more cardio done over this weekend than my entire past year combined, and my self-enforced “I’ll not look at the screen and will only leave it on so my eggs can hatch” only worked until the next vibration (i.e. to indicate a Pokemon is nearby).
And I’m not even a hardcore player.
Gotta Catch Em All? They’ll Help You Do That.
Due to the massive increase of footfall that the game can bring with Lures and Stops, major businesses and tourist attractions have efficiently hopped onto Pokemon GO’s popularity, enticing enthusiastic players with promises of Pokemon to be caught, social media campaigns and detailed maps of Stops and Gyms in their vicinity.
While there are many who are more than happy to take a nice stroll in those areas while catching some Pokemon, there are those who want to literally travel across the land and get to as many Stops as possible.
Taking the MRT does prove useful because Pokemon can potentially be caught on the rides, but getting to areas which are not as easily accessible by public transport usually requires a car or taxi.
Not all players have cars (or driving licenses), and hailing a cab for each and every Stop can burn a hole in one’s pocket, so some companies have taken these problems and are providing solutions to it – by offering Pokemon GO chauffeur services.
The Straits Times reported that advertisements for car rental and hire services have been popping up on social media “to help players visit Pokemon GO-related locations in air-conditioned comfort”.
Said private car driver Mr Sng of Limo Sixty9, “I’ve seen the popularity of the game and people might have use for such a service later on if they want to cover more ground.”
Car rental service Wagon Mate is also offering a 10% discount off their usual rental rates for those who have downloaded the app:
Said its owner Ralph Koh to The Straits Times, “The weather in Singapore is quite hot and some people might not want to walk too much, so we thought of this promotion. But we also warn them that the person driving should not be using his mobile phone to play the game.”
LAN shop Good Game Zone is also expanding their business scope and are offering these services :
These services are also provided by players themselves, whose services remind us of how carpooling works.
We did a search on Facebook and found several such posts:
What’s The Issue?
The news has met with many citing that this is a great business opportunity, but some have expressed their disapproval with how far the game has made people go, and have asked players to “get a life”.
Regardless, many have defended the game, citing that it actually has a positive effect on making usually reclusive Singaporeans go out more and even make new friends in the process.
Personally, I think that the sharing of hotspots and tips by players to the community is definitely a positive effect of the game. It’s been a while since a common topic has ‘activated’ and united Singaporeans – and what’s more, it’s just in time for National Day.
The services could also offer private drivers a chance to earn some extra income, of course, that’s if they’re true to their rates and don’t add in additional charges suddenly.
Regardless, the enterprising spirit in Singapore is definitely strong, and if no one’s getting cheated or hurt, what’s the issue? – Vulcan Post
To be updated on the latest Pokemon GO hunt in Singapore, please follow PokemonGo SG Hunt.
Feature Image Credit: expatliving.sg