Singapore government to monitor impact of Pokemon Go on society

A man poses with his mobile phone displaying the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in front of a busy crossing in Shibuya district in Tokyo, Japan on July 22.
A man poses with his mobile phone displaying the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in front of a busy crossing in Shibuya district in Tokyo, Japan on July 22.PHOTO: REUTERS

While Singapore fans of Pokemon Go cannot wait for the game to be launched here, the Government has said that it will monitor the game's impact on society.

The game, which has taken the world by storm, uses augmented reality technology to allow players to "see" virtual Pokemon characters as they view their surroundings through their smartphone cameras.

Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim gave his comments in response to questions yesterday about whether the Government will introduce any guidelines for the game, given that it has caused problems in other countries ranging from criminal trespass to traffic accidents, as players hunt for the characters.

Japan... has already issued a safety guide warning of heat stroke, dubious strangers and other risks. Indonesian officials have even called the game a security threat, while some in Egypt and Russia have claimed that the game is a plot by spy agencies.

"We have to study very, very carefully whatever is brought into Singapore," he said, stressing that it must not harm lifestyles or the way things have been done here.

Dr Yaacob was speaking to reporters at the National Deaf Games at the Singapore Badminton Hall.

"We will monitor the situation, how this particular game is being played and... its impact on society," he added.

 

"And if it's really something which we should be concerned about, I think MDA (the Media Development Authority) will definitely decide on what are the things we can do best, if the game is really needed here, how... we can do it in such a way that it becomes a win-win situation."

 

Pokemon Go is available officially in more than 35 countries.

 

Japan, where it was launched last Friday, has already issued a safety guide warning of heat stroke, dubious strangers and other risks.

Indonesian officials have even called the game a security threat, while some in Egypt and Russia have claimed that the game is a plot by spy agencies.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2016, with the headline 'Govt to monitor impact of Pokemon Go on society'. Print Edition | Subscribe