Late-night Pokemon Go players get on residents' nerves in housing estates

Pokemon Go players gathering at Block 401 Hougang Avenue 10 on Aug 9, 2016.
Pokemon Go players gathering at Block 401 Hougang Avenue 10 on Aug 9, 2016.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/@WEIXIANGLIMSG

SINGAPORE - Block 401 in Hougang Avenue 10 has gained a reputation for being a hub of virtual activity, with "rare" Pokemon such as Gyarados reportedly spotted there.

But some residents are irked by the the late-night gatherings, Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported on Wednesday (Aug 10).

According to the paper, the area plays host to three PokeStops - sites where Pokemon can be found- and an online forum user on HardwareZone reported that the block has an "almost permanent lure" as well.

Players use 30-minute lures to attract more Pokemon to their vicinity.

The National Day public holiday on Tuesday (Aug 9) drew huge crowds to Block 401 well into the night.

Instagram user Lim Weixiang posted an aerial photograph of the HDB children's playground packed with "Pokemon trainers" around 11pm on Tuesday, captioned: "Now this is bat s*** crazy."

On Saturday (Aug 6), when the game launched in Singapore, the HDB block already saw Pokemon Go players standing around trying to catch the digital creatures in the middle of the night. Facebook user Lim Tong Choon even posted a photo of a "midnight party" on "Pokemon GO SG Hougang-ers", the neighbourhood's unofficial Facebook group for Pokemon Go players.

On top of the noise from large gatherings, numerous players have also posted in the Facebook group documenting the litter - discarded food, drink bottles, and cigarette butts - that is left behind after crowds disperse.

Polytechnic student Jantzen Lee chided fellow Pokemon Go players in the Facebook group, calling the mess a disappointment and reminding litterbugs to think of the residents who would have to wake up to rubbish strewn about their neighbourhood come morning.

Other popular Pokemon Go locations in residential neighbourhoods include Yishun Park, which boasts four PokeStops near Yishun Avenue 4.

A 32-year-old tuition teacher and Pokemon Go player, who gave his name only as Mr He, told Shin Min Daily News he was in the area on Tuesday night until around 2am on Wednesday.

According to him, enterprising residents were hawking drinks to players and there were at least 10 cars parked illegally along the road.

At one point during the night, he said, someone called out that the Traffic Police had arrived, prompting errant players to scramble to their cars.

The situation has left some Yishun residents unamused.

One resident, Mr Bryan Tan, wrote on the Yishun North Neighbourhood Police Centre's Facebook page: "How about setting up regular patrols around Yishun Park now that it's a hot spot for this stupid game? I've just about had it with inconsiderate morons parking illegally along my precinct driveway and adding a whole lot of noise throughout the night."