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To Poke or Not to Poke is The Question!

To Poke or Not to Poke is The Question!

POKEMON GO is the talk of the town these last few days. We have seen so many comments in the social media on this newly released game. In Malaysia, the debut was on 6 August 2016. Comments are both negative and positive. Supporters believe that it is an awesome innovation particularly those involved in technology, gaming and content industries. Of course, the die hard fans, who have now become the users of this game, will defend their obsession.

On the flip side, many raised concerns over its impact to society primarily from two major perspectives, security and productivity. On its first day itself (in Malaysia) we have had reports that car accidents happened due to sudden brakes by drivers as a result of Pokemon Go obsession. We can also see parents complaining how children waste their time almost, if not worse, than other social technology such as games and media networks.

In the end, a balanced view should be taken. Like other trends that mushroomed in our lives, we are always encountering both positive and negative impacts. I still remember the same sort of debate the society has engaged for previous inventions such as Game and Watch, Atari, Nintendo, Game Arcades, Snooker Parlours, YouTube, Angry Birds, Temple Run, and the list goes on and on.
Perhaps the users should do time scheduling like how you would do for badminton, jogging, jamming, movies and what not so that it serves as entertainment value that does not disrupt too much of productive time. On the safety measures, I think someone from the Government should meet with the makers of Pokemon Go to negotiate prohibited areas such as highways, edge of lakes, mosques, private areas and the list for this can be quite exhaustive, I would imagine.

I have to confess that this is a big dilemma for me. I strongly agree with the negative points and I am also an advocate of innovative products particularly in the creative and intellectual property arena. One thing is for sure, I would like to urge everyone to have a healthy debate over this and not to be emotional. After all, we are a society that is still debating about cigarettes since its invention 200 years ago.

The show must go on - and for this, I spent quality time with my wife, my 11 year old boy and my 5 year old boy today, going around my town (Shah Alam) hunting Pokemons. We did not managed to catch Pikachu! Darn!

Johan Ishak
CEO of MyCreative