By: B Goode
A new silliness is sweeping the planet where people are going around collecting virtual Japanese cartoon characters that look like over-sized bacteria and with names that I am sure in some obscure languages are considered obscene.
It is called Pokemon Go. If you’ve not heard of it, either you are from another planet or you have better things to do in your life.
In the thirty odd countries where the game has been released so far, cases of grown-up men fighting to be the first to catch a Pokemon, of children being lured, kidnapped, molested and raped, of illegal trespasses, of death because an idiot had fallen off the ledge of a building in his eagerness to catch the creature and other horror stories have emanated which make you wonder whether it’s better to just take hallucinogenic drugs for the thrills instead. At least if you took Ganja, you’d just be lying on your bed giggling at all the stupid antics of the Pokemon players. Like what I just did.
And of course the game will be coming to Singapore soon whether the government like it or not.
It has to come because we pride ourselves in being a global, international metropolitan where we take in immigrants from all over the world, some of them un-screened communists and Islamists, and some others whose behaviours are not as cute as the Pokemons. So why should we be afraid of importing some Japanese cartoon characters? At least they don’t spit in your face.
Already the Minister for Communication who ironically doesn’t communicate much, Yaacob Ibrahim has said that the government will make a study about the social impact of Pokemon before deciding on what to do. Let’s just hope that the ones making the study have genuine qualification.
But really there is nothing to study. In a country like Singapore where practically everything we do is technically an offence, we have enough laws and regulations to cover whatever antics and shenanigans by the nothing-better-to-do Pokemon players.
What the government need to do is just to issue an advisory to tell the players to play responsibly, safely and to consider all the laws.
Say for example, if a player was found trespassing into an army camp to catch a Pokemon, he should be promptly arrested and charged in court. He should not be allowed to plead for leniency just because he was playing Pokemon Go, and he definitely should not plead insanity just because he was a 53 year old father of four addicted to a cartoonish game. In fact, he should be given enhanced sentence for being an idiot.
And if someone fell to his death off the ledge of the roof of MBS because he wanted to catch a Pokemon, we should just pretend to be sad and say RIP and then proceed to laugh behind whatever was left of his shattered back.