Wednesday, July 13, 2016

5 Big Problems with Pokemon Go (on Poor Countries like the Philippines)


Just last July 6, 2016, the much-awaited Pokemon Go mobile app was released. It's just like those Xperia Augmented Reality camera apps that are built-in with my phone - except it's Pokemon. Of course, since me and my friend (who is extremely knowledgeable with Pokemon) are currently in throwback mode with LeafGreen/FireRed and HeartGold/SoulSilver, we decided to check it out.

Because our country, the Philippines, don't have a good WiFi connection nor is the app even available to our country yet, here are some of the problems that I noticed, and what I would like our government, ISPs and Niatntic to do:

 1. The Philippines need to have a public WiFi on nearly every corner of the country. Why do you think people in America could catch Pokemon at the park or near forests? It's because internet connection is never a problem to them. Before we can truly enjoy Pokemon Go, we need to have a stable internet connection for the whole country, even on parks and beaches, and that's probably why Niantic won't be releasing Pokemon Go for our country just yet. Only malls, establishments and the like have "public WiFi" - parks and such don't, so Filipinos can only catch Pokemon inside buildings, which is pretty pointless, considering that Pokemon Go is supposed to make you travel in the great outdoors, not be confined to a small WiFi hotspot.

2. The Philippines need to have a FAST internet connection. Seriously, we are like, having the 2nd lowest internet speed on Asia, and perhaps on the whole world. Would you believe nearly every household is paying Php 1,300 ($27) a month for a shitty speed of 3 MBPS or lower? I really hope newly-elected President Duterte is true to his word about bringing a new ISP company to the Philippines that will shake the house down and give us due internet speed, not just for Pokemon Go, but for the 82195015 billion users of social media sites everyday (since the Philippines is somewhat of a social media monster among global communities). Even if you go to SM or some other mall with public WiFi, it's not even enough to load your Facebook news feed. That's how slow "public WiFi's" are here in the Philippines!

EDIT: As of August 2016, SM WiFi is now pretty fast, possibly due to the strong demands of the Pokemon Go players. The only problem lies in the overloading servers, but that's a global issue (e.g. it takes a while to load a Pokemon once you found it).


3. The Philippines need to have strict disciplinary security measures, especially for pedestrians and drivers. Seeing as how Filipinos like to jaywalk instead of using the footbridge in NCR, I'm pretty sure they'll go and trespass other people's properties or ignore the racing buses just because of playing Pokemon Go, and I'm also 100% sure that drivers, trying to catch that Pikachu or Meowth on the street, might accidentally catch a hit pedestrian instead.

4. The Philippines need to have a lower crime rate. This helps if you want to really roam the country freely to catch Pokemon without worrying about Team Rocket stealing your things (or killing you). Right now, it is still very dangerous to go out in the streets without the threat of snatchers and the like. This is why I'm pretty good with President Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs.

5. The Philippines need to update their Google Earth and Google Maps data first. When I tried the game, it just displayed the street are and there aren't any landmarks, even if we have a church, a municipal building, a park, and some other establishments. Poor countries like the Philippines don't have enough Google Maps data on landmarks, and so it's like we're just walking through the wilderness without finding a PokeStop at all. I'm not sure how it is for people in NCR, but I'm pretty sure they will be luckier since the capital is filled with landmarks.

EDIT: as of August 2016, Philippine Google Maps have now been updated with PokeStops and Pokemon Gyms, since the game is officially released in the Philippines. Perhaps the only thing we need is safety on infrastructure and better security so that people won't trespass other places like MMDA's command center, which is said to be a gym.

So in conclusion, Pokemon Go is a very promising game - but the big problem is that our country, the Philippines, isn't quite ready for it yet.

2 comments:

Robert F. Crocker said...

This kind of work should be honored with a full complement… I am always looking forward for more posts. Pokemon Go Manila

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