So in case you’ve been living under a tempurung with a frog, you’ve probably heard that the world is going gaga over a new game called Pokemon Go.
UPDATE (6 Aug 16): AND NOW IT’S OFFICIAL AVAILABLE IN MALAYSIA OMG OMGOMG
SOSCILI Editor, MK was the first hunter in the office
So anyways, it’s basically taking the concept of collecting these virtual pets called Pokemons, and bringing them into the real world via a GPS-enabled smartphone.
Predictably, the world went berserk, with 26 million downloads in just 10 days after its launch.
While it’s yet to launch in Malaysia, many Malaysians are already standing by their phones for the app to become available. In fact, the game has gotten so big that some countries are actually considering banning it.
But wait…If it’s so popular… why are people banning it!?
Well… cos from the initial reports, chasing Pokemons around in the real world can be a dangerous habit, so much so that doctors have even issued medical advice before playing it. Barely two weeks after its launch, there have already been several incidents of people getting hurt while playing it.
For the past month, Malaysians have been actively searching for more information about it, with Pokemon Go being the 2nd biggest search on Twitter outside of Eurocup 2016. Unfortunately, Malaysians are a statistically accident-prone bunch, so we teamed up with our sponsors at Allianz, to take a look at some of the potential dangers of playing Pokemon Go in Malaysia, and (to add some substance) whether or not you can be covered for any mishaps that might unfortunately happen.
1. Walking into a manhole/ or into the Klang River
Yep. Who woulda thunk that a cute little furry virtual animal could actually break bones!? But that’s exactly what’s happening. The thing about the little monsters in Pokemon Go is that they are based on the type of location you’re in.
Some of them might be near a manhole, in the mamak toilet, or even on a lamp-post. Water-based animals are typically found near real-life water spots… e.g. the Klang River, which has claimed its own fair share of victims over the years.
UPDATE (6 Aug 16): The Bible Society of Malaysia in Damansara Kim, the Taman Tun Dr Ismail Wet Market and the Bukit Kiara Muslim Cemetery have already been confirmed as PokeStops. Watch those wet floors and open graves k?
Does insurance cover this?
“Yep. Allianz Shield can provide coverage if they get injured bumping into a lamp post, falling into a manhole, and yes… even walking into the Klang River. If one is injured due to accidents or other mishaps, Allianz Shield will pay up to RM10,000 for any medical expenses and that includes sinseh or traditional treatments*. Just don’t do it on purpose k?” – Susan Ong, Chief Marketing Officer @ Allianz
*up to RM35 per visit and RM350 per accident. Sorry, bomohs don’t count tho 🙁
2. Getting your phone snatched by a rempit while playing
In Pokemon Go, players have to go to designated PokeSpots in a real life area (e.g. 1Utama car park) to train their Pokemons and battle other players’ monsters. Unfortunately, enterprising criminals in the USA have started using these locations as hotspots to lure victims who are busy looking at their phones.
“The way we believe (the app) was used is you can add a beacon to a Pokéstop to lure more players,” – O’Fallon Police Department.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this could be potentially be a very scary thought for Malaysians, with 194 snatch-theft cases reported in KL in just the first two months of 2016. The thing about Pokemon Go is that it sends you to some really weird places… like even a graveyard in Kiara … So all a snatch-thief needs to do is literally sit back and wait for victims.
Does insurance cover this?
“The same product, Allianz Shield ALSO provides protection from snatch-theft, covering you for up to MYR300. In fact, there’s another product called ATM Shield which covers loss of or damage to your phone or other personal effects due to snatch theft and robbery for up to MYR1,000 in value. ATM Shield also covers cash thefts for ATM withdrawals” – Susan Ong, Chief Marketing Officer @ Allianz
3. Crashing your MyVi into something bigger than a Mega Mewtwo X
This is probably one of the scariest possibilities for Malaysians. Even our dear CILISOS editor is known for checking articles on his phone while he’s driving around KL, which has resulted in some small bumps and bruises on his precious Honda.
“Police and the Road Transport Department (JPJ) issued a total of 100,143 summonses to Malaysian drivers caught using mobile devices last year.” – AsiaOne.com
So imagine what it would be like, if Malaysians were playing a game that makes them look out for virtual creatures in weird places, and worse… post their findings LIVE on social media…
“Naturally, the game has also induced people to post pictures of themselves on social media chasing creatures in all sorts of dangerous situations. Zubats and Paras have appeared on car dashboards. Caterpies have been spotted at intersections .” – New York Post
Does insurance cover this?
“Absolutely. Our Customer Service Centre will be able to help you through the claims process but as a start, you must always file police report to enable a claim, regardless of the cause of the accident. As long as your car is less than 15 years old, you can get insured for your car and anyone you hit under Allianz Motor Insurance Comprehensive Cover. Even better still, with Allianz Enhanced Road Warrior, you can still continue to chase Pokemons after (more carefully, please) while your car is being repaired. That plan supplies you with unlimited distance in car towing service and use of a replacement car.” – Susan Ong, Chief Marketing Officer @ Allianz
Speaking of which, if you’re the poor soul who’s house kena ram by a Pokemon hunter’s car, you can be covered too under Allianz HouseOwner insurance 🙂
4. Spending all your gaji on Pokeballs
Malaysians love their mobile games, and some statistics show that they’re actually willing to pay for them. Malaysia is one of Google Play’s top markets (2nd to Vietnam) in Southeast Asia, showing 115% growth in 2014, and recording USD8million in revenue. And the category they overwhelmingly spend on? Yep… games.
Ugaiz better be careful, cos Pokemon Go accounted for 47% of ALL app-revenue in the US. That means that this one app made almost as much money as every other app in the US combined. And it’s actually scary because the game only gets more expensive the longer you play, and alot of the revenue was from people who have never paid for an app before.
Couple this with the fact that Malaysians owe TWICE as much per capita today than we did in 2008, and you can see how those little monsters on your phone could easily eat up your wallet.
Does insurance cover this?
Er… kinda. It doesn’t actually cover overspending (cos that would be insurance EVERYONE would want), but it CAN help you to spend less.
“Well, we’re not saying DON’T spend on fun things but you might want to control it a little. Perhaps setting aside some of your monthly salary into an affordable savings product like PrimeSaver, can help you reap long term benefits in the future. Even small amounts can help secure a better future.” – Susan Ong, Chief Marketing Officer @ Allianz” – Susan Ong, Chief Marketing Officer @ Allianz
Wow. Pokemon Go really is quite scary lor
It is. Now you understand why some countries are considering banning it.
And you can be darn sure that Malaysians are waiting with baited breath for it. In fact, there’s even a page where you can see updates about when it might come to Malaysia (current answer: not anytime soon).
While mobile games can be fun, it’s important to remember that as much as it might seem like real life, it isn’t. Cos y’know… in real life, you got real stinky Klang River, motorcycle thieves and no refillable health bar.
In fact, the closest thing to a health bar or an extra life, is a good insurance plan, which will allow you to do whatever you dare to.
Visit www.allianz.com.my for more info 😉