Date
28 May 2017
Young people hunt for virtual monsters on the campus of National Taiwan University as the Pokemon craze sweeps the island.  Photo: United Daily News
Young people hunt for virtual monsters on the campus of National Taiwan University as the Pokemon craze sweeps the island. Photo: United Daily News

Pokémon craze sweeps Taiwan in Ghost Month

It’s the “Ghost Month” in the Chinese lunar calendar, when the gates of hell are opened, allowing hungry and vicious ghosts to return to the world.

People are supposed to stay at home at night to avoid any paranormal encounters, but that’s exactly what many young and not-so-young people in Taiwan were doing over the weekend – roaming the streets late at night to hunt for virtual monsters.

Pokémon GO, the augmented reality mobile game that is taking the world by storm, was released in Taiwan on Saturday, keeping police officers busy and leading to several game-related accidents and at least one arrest, Taipei-based Wild East Magazine reports.

A 20-year-old man surnamed Guo crashed his motorcycle in a tunnel in New Taipei City around 11 p.m. on Saturday while playing the game on his mobile phone, the report said.

The young man suffered a broken knee and multiple abrasions.

On Sunday, a 19-year-old woman was arrested in Miaoli County in western Taiwan after traffic patrol officers noticed that her scooter was swaying from side to side as she rode it while playing Pokémon GO.

An identity check revealed that there was an outstanding warrant for her arrest for breaking a court order more than a year ago, the island’s state-owned Central News Agency said. 

Liu was fined NT$1,000 (US$31.7) for using a mobile phone while riding a scooter and was later handed over to the prosecutors’ office which had placed her on the wanted list, the CNA report said.

In a Facebook post, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je called on Pokémon GO players to pay attention to road safety.

He also urged people to spend more time with family and friends, instead of playing mobile games.

Meanwhile, the National Palace Museum in Taipei has banned the game on its premises and at its southern branch, citing concern for the safety of visitors and its collections, CNA said.

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JP/CG

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