Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pokemon players swarm Nay Pyi Taw

Uppatasanti Pagoda in Nay Pyi Taw’s Pobbathiri township has been packed with Pokemon Go players – so much so that at closing time, security uses megaphones to get the players to leave, photography teacher U Aung Myin told The Myanmar Times.

Crime scene or Pokemon? Players gather near Uppatasanti Pagoda in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: Swan Ye Htut / The Myanmar TimesCrime scene or Pokemon? Players gather near Uppatasanti Pagoda in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: Swan Ye Htut / The Myanmar Times

“They come to find the ball that is used for capturing Pokemon,” he said. “On the Pokemon Go map, the area shows up as the 1000 Women Pagoda.”

About 50 people are there in their cars or motorcycles at any given time, he said, adding that even the passers-by are interested.

“They see all the people playing the game, assume there has been a crime and start gathering around,” U Aung Myin said.

The game lets smartphone users capture the little animated monsters – which show up in GPS-tagged locations – then “train” them and use them to battle other players. It has been an international phenomenon since its launch in July.

“Fountain Garden’s clock tower has one Pokestop, Sky Place Hotel’s coffee bar has one Pokestop, the area around Uppatasanti Pagoda has two Pokestops and a gym,” U Aung Myin said. “There are people who play the game in those places all day. I think there are a few people at Sky Place. They go to the shopping centres and hotel zones to capture Pokemon.”

All ages and classes play the game in those areas, he said, pulling their vehicles over when their phones start vibrating.


Translation by San Layy