Not a simple go-ahead for Pokémon Go

The popular game may be regulated in Singapore.

Azra Rauff

Published: 29 July 2016, 12:00 AM

Singaporeans are still waiting to jump on the Pokémon Go bandwagon just three weeks after its first release in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Since then, Pokémon Go, which was developed by Niantic, has been made available in 37 countries, including Japan and Finland.

However, gamers in Singapore may face possible restrictions as soon as the game is released here.


What’s going on?

Earlier this week, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said that the government will be monitoring Pokémon Go’s impact on Singaporeans once the game hits our shores.

He added that the Media Development Authority will introduce guidelines for the game, if necessary.

The game, which uses augmented reality to guide players to different locations to “catch” Pokémons, has prompted security concerns worldwide.

In fact, players engrossed in the game have already caused a number of traffic accidents and countless cases of trespassing. It has even been accused of being a “spy plot” in other parts of the world.


A trespassing case related to Pokémon Go.
Photo credit: TodayOnline


Mr Yaacob’s announcement moved Razor CEO Min-Liang Tan to post a plea on Facebook.

He wrote: “You’re not going to get very far censoring and banning games willy-nilly because gamers, will always find a way.”

Some youths echoed his views. Avid gamer Hariz Ikhwan, 20, felt that any intervention from the government was unnecessary.

Hariz, who is waiting to enlist into National Service, said: “If people want to play [Pokémon Go], they’ll find a way to get their hands on it. Banning it or having restrictions will not do anything.”


Singaporeans have mixed views about Pokémon Go.


This is not the first time the government has regulated online games. Previously, Counterstrike and Mass Effect were banned because of excessive violence and homosexuality respectively.

In 2014, the government passed the Remote Gambling Act, which bans any form of real-money online games such as poker.

Amidst the controversy, many netizens felt there are more pressing issues to worry about instead of games.


Are there more pressing issues to worry about?


Tey Jia Rou, a final year student from Singapore Polytechnic, felt that the government could come up with better solutions to resolve security concerns.

The 19-year-old said: “I think that if they [the government] really want to make a change, they should educate the public about it. Singapore is known for being schizophrenic at times, and I don’t think that introducing restrictions will do very much.”

However, 24-year-old Sandy Low had differing views. She felt that safety should be our top concern.

The second year student at Kaplan Higher Education Academy said: “Safety is always a priority, be it online or offline. If the government decides to regulate something, it’s definitely for the better good. Better to be safe than sorry.”

What’s your take?

  1. Are you excited about playing Pokémon Go?
  2. Should our government regulate Pokémon Go? Why?
  3. If you had to regulate Pokémon Go for security concerns, what rules would you impose?


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