Indonesians are GRAB-bing Pokémons


While the Pokémon Go game has taken over the US of A like a fast-spreading zombie virus which has people walking around in a sort of stupor, staring at their phones, wandering into restricted/dangerous zones, banging into innocent pedestrians and getting banged by cars, we who are living in the rest of the world are still eagerly anticipating the game’s launch in our countries.


But one country in Asia is already playing the game, despite it not yet being officially made available. And it is not even Pokemon’s home country of Japan. Indonesians have taken to the game in a big way. Users have been able to download the game from unofficial sources or by changing their location settings to the USA. Indonesians have been playing for weeks now, building a healthy collection of Pokémons in their Pokédexes.


Earlier, we reported about Uber and Lyft taking advantage of the game’s popularity and offering services to ferry players around. Their South East Asian rival, Grab (previously Grabcar) has also offered weekend promos for those who wanted to spend their off-days baiting Pokémons. The company used in-app lures to attract Pokémons to Monas, Indonesia’s national monument, effectively turning the place into a Pokestop, and in turn, attract trainers there.



Grab then offered a promo code – GRABPOKEMON – for users who wanted to book a car or bike ride to and from Monas. Quite clever, we think. Despite the rain, trainers still turned up to “grab” the Pokémons, showing how much of an obsession the game has become.


Indonesian authorities have issued warnings and bans of the game: civil servants are not allowed to play while on duty; palace officials have issued a warning that palace grounds are off limits (“This is the office of the president, not a playground,” a spokesperson said.); a Frenchman trespassed on a West Java military base while hunting for the creatures, and several road accidents related to the game have already been reported.


Despite all that, we can’t wait for it to come here so that we can hunt Pokémons in our neck of the woods.


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