The global Pokemon Go mania hasn’t skipped the UAE, despite the game not being officially released here yet, with fans reporting walking into poles and completely losing track of time whilst playing the smartphone game.
Players have found ways to download it on both iOS and Android devices, although some have reported that the game crashes frequently.
Shivam Manghnani, a 24-year-old Indian accountant, says he walked into a pole while playing the game. “I was trying to catch one and there was a stop sign in front of me and I walked right into it,” he told tabloid!.
Robyn Mei, 17, said she almost got hurt crossing the road. “I was on a pedestrian crossing and a Pokemon was in front of me, so I stopped there and tried to get [the Pokemon] and I didn’t notice a taxi standing there,” she said on Monday.
Many fans say it reminds them of their childhood. For those who owned Gameboys, watched the television show, Pokemon: The Series, which started in 1997, collected and traded cards and idolized Ash Ketchum, this new version game brings back memories. “It’s a hit of nostalgia if you grew up with Pokemon and bought all the cards,” recent college graduate Adnan Kapadia tells us. “The game does a good job translating Pokemon into the real world.”
18 Pokemon feature films have also been released.
18-year-old Pokemon Go fan Jacq Bogal says he grew up watching Pokemon and said the appeal of the new game lies in its interactive nature. “It’s very addictive — but I still live in the real world.”
Salama Al Falasi calls the game “a childhood dream come true [because now] I can catch Pokemon in the real world”. But it is responsible for making her “waste time”.
Around the world, players have reported walking into things as they move around, searching for Pokemon to catch (the game’s catchphrase is “catch em all”) — but is it anymore a concern than for anyone addicted to their smartphone?
GN Tech deputy editor Gareth Warren said, “For the parents reading this, wondering if they should be worried that their kids are addicted — relax. This is one of the best things to happen to our smartphone-obsessed generation. The pros do outweigh the cons.”
For one thing, the game does get people moving.
“Tech’s been getting a bad rep over the last few years by making us lazy and anti-social. But this game actually gets us off our behinds.” “It’s a good exercise. I can’t cheat the game and I actually have to move around [to catch the Pokemons],” Mei said.
— Shreya Bhatia is an intern at Gulf News