Players dash across road to catch 'rare Pokemon'

A screengrab from a video posted on Facebook showing a crowd of Pokemon Go players rushing to Punggol Park with no apparent heed to the traffic on the road.
A screengrab from a video posted on Facebook showing a crowd of Pokemon Go players rushing to Punggol Park with no apparent heed to the traffic on the road.PHOTO: KUANYEWISM/ FACEBOOK

A strange flock descended on Hougang Avenue 10 on Wednesday, led by their smartphones and oblivious to traffic. After spotting a rare and powerful Pokemon called Snorlax at Punggol Park, a crowd of Pokemon Go players made a dash from the amphitheatre near Block 401 in Hougang to the park.

A video on Facebook shows dozens eagerly running across the road without apparent care for oncoming traffic.

Mr Kiat Long, 24, a tertiary student who declined to give his surname, saw the scene. He said: "It was dangerous how people dashed across the road without checking. Cars and buses had to stop to wait for them to cross."

Since the popular augmented-reality game, in which players catch virtual creatures called Pokemon, was launched in Singapore last Saturday, hundreds of players have gathered at the amphitheatre, which is host to four PokeStops - where you pick up items to catch Pokemon and lures attracting Pokemon.

 
 

Pokemon Go is also reportedly drawing crowds to public spaces such as the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and the Toa Payoh Town Park.

Mr Kenny Lee, 25, was in Hougang yesterday to experience the "Poke-spirit" and to also find the Snorlax. "It's for the fun of it. Singapore is safe enough that running across the road won't kill you."

Mr Goh Zhen Yu, 30, who also spent his Friday night catching Pokemon in Hougang with his wife, disagreed. He said: "Life is precious. This is just a game, so we should all put safety first."

The police have urged players to place their personal safety before "catching 'em all". "Watch where you are walking, be aware of your surroundings and do not walk out into roads without looking," it said on Facebook.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2016, with the headline 'Players dash across road to catch 'rare Pokemon''. Print Edition | Subscribe