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The Game Isn't The Issue, The Players Are: Bad Pokemon GO Behaviour Ironically Unites S'porean Opinions

Almost like an unbreakable rule, the number of passionate fans of a particular person/game/etc would also tend to have a more or less proportional number of those who hate it with a passion.

Think Taylor Swift. Think Pokemon GO.

While the hate, for whatever reason, is inevitable, some local Pokemon GO fans have incited the ire of other Singaporeans because of their inconsiderate behaviour.

Even as a Pokemon GO fan myself, what these players have done should be stopped.

Dashing Across Roads, Littering At Residential Areas

A well-known hotspot for Pokemon catching, Block 401 at Hougang Avenue 10 has been flooded with trainers who have been taking advantage of the apparently “almost permanent lure” in the area.

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While it was initially amusing to see so many Singaporeans gathered in a single location with the common purpose to catch virtual creatures, the crowds have apparently been making a lot of noise and leaving the space littered with food, bottles and cigarette butts.

A post in Pokemon GO SG-Hougang-ers, a Facebook group for Pokemon GO players who are Hougang residents, also showed the extent of the litter left by players, many of whom are not residents of the area:

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Another post on the group featured a video with the players dashing across the roads, simply because of the appearance of a rare Pokemon at Punggol Park on the other side of the road.

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Screenshots from video / Credit: Nicholas Chee

Yishun residents have also been affected by the popularity of the game, and according to a player who was also in the area till around 2am, some residents were even hawking drinks to players!

Not only that, cars were also parked illegally at the estate, and the Traffic Police had to step in as well.

Don’t Hate The Player, Hate The Game?

The news has only made the voices who have been calling for the ban of the game even before its release stronger:

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Regardless, the general consensus still stands that even though there are a few bad apples who spoil the bunch, with many stating that the behaviour is due to one’s own “upbringing” as compared to the game per se.

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One reader even stated that players near her house were far from the examples set by the ones reported:

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As with many things these days, media tends to report on the negative things before the positive ones, and while it’s easy to jump to judgement, it might be better if we were to observe the trends themselves first.

Personally, the players I’ve seen have mostly been standing quietly at random corners to catch their Pokemon. I do admit to being more a more distracted pedestrian though, and I found myself stopping in the middle of malls to catch a Pokemon.

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My Vivocity mall experience was full of stopping in random corners to swipe on my phone

Ironically, even before the game was released, one of my greatest pet peeves were people stopping suddenly in my paths!

It’s easy to lose your own sense of logic (and even common sense) when it comes to an exciting and attention-demanding game like this, however, I think that instead of insisting players are all right, or insisting they’re a nuisance that should be banned, there should be more understanding and consideration from both camps.

Horrified by a player dashing across the road or being an utter nuisance? Tell them nicely, instead of doing a Stomp and complaining about them online.

I do hope that these reports, as compared to furthering the blame game, does actually remind Pokemon GO players that their personal safety and consideration for their environments are still more important than catching that rare Pokemon.

Feature Image Credit: Jantzen Lee, @weixianglimsg

 

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