A new video purported to depict hundreds, if not thousands, of Pokemon GO players in Taipei, Taiwan enthusiastically chasing a Snorlax, as the lights at a traffic stop turn from red to green, is attracting attention for being “surreal” and “reminiscent of science fiction,” as reported by Time. The Pokemon GO Taiwan Snorlax video was uploaded to YouTube on August 21 and has already received close to a million views.
Inspection of Google Street View images in the capital of Taiwan shows the intersection to be that of Zhongshan Road, Zhonge Street, and Zhonge Street near Beitou Park. Time and other media outlets have been unable to verify the authenticity of the video, which, if real, may raise questions about the effects of the game on society.
“Such incidents are fairly common in Taiwan, people often tend to take trends and crazes to another level,” Taiwanese Quora user David Kan responded when asked whether the Taiwan Pokemon GO video is authentic or not. Other videos and photographs depicting similar scenes in the Asian nation would appear to back up his claim.
Time states that Chinese media reported “thousands” of Pokemon GO players in the area on a “daily basis.” Getty Images has documented the Taiwan Pokemon GO craze extensively.
“Overcrowding is so intense, reports say, that the civil-defense brigade has had to be called in, along with police reinforcements from neighboring areas.”
Several other Pokemon GO videos from Taiwan have been uploaded to YouTube, depicting similar scenes.
Wikipedia reports that the Snorlax weighs over 1,000 pounds, which made it the most massive Pokemon GO for a period following its introduction in Pokemon Red and Blue in 1996, when it received a “mixed reception.” The Snorlax has been described as being the “most powerful” Pokemon ever, as well as “silly,” seemingly not the view of Taipei Pokemon GO players.
The popularity of the mobile app by Nintendo Co. Ltd. (OTC: NTDOY) had seemingly taken the gaming and Pokemon community off-guard, as well as by storm, since first being introduced on July 6.
The abandon displayed by Pokemon GO players in the Taiwan videos is reminiscent of the sort shown by fans of The Beatles when the rock band used to travel between the United States and the United Kingdom.
Seemingly in contrast to the video footage emerging online of large crowds chasing the Snorlax and other Pokemon GO characters, Bloomberg has reported that usage of the game is “in decline” and asked if it had “peaked.”
“Given the rapid rise in usage of the Pokemon GO app since the launch in July, investors have been concerned that this new user experience has been detracting from time spent on other mobile focused apps,” Victor Anthony with Axiom Capital management was quoted by Bloomberg.
At its peak, close to 45 million users were reported to be using Pokemon GO each day. Daily usage is currently closer to 30 million, reportedly assuaging the fears of competitors’ investors.
Data examined by Bloomberg is reported to suggest a declining market interest in “augmented reality,” such as the type offered by Pokemon GO, while market interest in “virtual reality,” such as the type offered by more traditional gaming experiences remains high, and steady.