SUBANG JAYA — It has been over a week since Pokemon Go was released locally and many Malaysians are out hunting for the virtual monsters, especially at night.
Malay Mail took to the streets of SS15, USJ1, USJ6 and USJ4 earlier this week and found many were hooked on the game.
People were roaming the streets of Subang Jaya like never before on bicycles, motorcycles, cars and on foot. They all had one thing in common — their eyes were glued to their mobile screens.
Observations between 11pm and 2.30am revealed there were some who ignored safety as they were driving or cycling while catching Pokemon and crossing the street with their eyes on the screen.
Most drivers in SS15 Subang Jaya were spotted using both hands to play the game. One hand to hold the phone and the other hand to swipe the Pokemon or collect Pokeballs at Pokestops.
At several intersections, we spotted several cars slowing down without indicating, while some were driving at between 30-40kph to ensure a better catch and to make sure their Pokemon eggs hatched the “lazy” way.
When interviewed, these drivers claimed they were too busy playing the game.
Businessman Ng Yan How, 28, who was on foot, said he could only catch Pokemon at night due to his hectic work schedule.
“I work 12 hours a day starting at 9am. By the time I reach home and take a quick shower, I am only able to start playing at 10pm,” he said.
“I have been spending about three hours the last four days on the streets of SS15 catching Pokemon,” said Ng, who lives in SS14.
He said he was aware of his surroundings while playing the game.
“I always look behind me every few metres just in case there is someone waiting to rob me. Of course, the dangers are there but thankfully nothing has happened to me,” he said.
Student Keith Xavier, 20, also on foot, said: “This game has had a big influence as I grew up watching Pokemon.
“During the day traffic is heavy but at night it is not,” said Xavier.
He said he drives from SS15 to USJ6 and continues his walk before driving home.
“Since the release of the game, I have been walking about four kilometers around parks every night.
“I know there is a possibility of being robbed or I can be involved in an accident while playing the game,but I have to carry on playing as it is just so much fun.”
In the first week of release in the United States, a player crashed his car into the tree and another slammed his car into a police patrol vehicle. In Malaysia, there has been only one major incident which occurred two days ago in Sungai Petani, Kedah, when two pedestrians were hit by a car in the early hours of the morning.
Xavier was joined by three friends, all of whom he met recently since the launch of the game, while he was on a hunt in SS15.
Student Suffren Ghafar,22, who was catching Pokemon at a local eatery, said he was aware of the dangers.
“For me, it is not logical to be driving and playing the game at the same time. I have seen people do that and they are unaware of the potential dangers they face.
“That explains why I am sitting here and catching Pokemon,” said Suffren, who travelled from Shah Alam.
Gym instructor Brian Victor, 20, said he could catch the same number of Pokemon while sitting down at an eatery.
“I do not see the point of walking around without knowing your surroundings. I hope they do not ban the game because of the action of these people.
“This game brings more good than harm but if people are too engrossed, the final result could be fatal,” said Brian, who lives in USJ6.
●See also Page 24