Pokémon Go got a beta test run in the US, UK and Australia last week, giving young (and not-so-young) trainers the chance to catch Pokémon in the world around them. With the app, you can find the little critters hiding in someone's mailbox, in the frying pan, near dead bodies, and, when Hong Kong receives its release, near some of our memorable landmarks. But Hong Kong is also a place where even the lightest transit mishap can garner the vitriol of the teeming masses that catch you in the act, which is why we've looked into the many ways Pokémon Go can go wrong when Hong Kong receives its release of the massively addictive mobile game (and we hear it could be any day now).
Braving a (black rain) storm
Black rain is more than just a weather signal – to disgruntled employees and restless schoolchildren everywhere, this signal is a blessing from the gods, a decree to stay home and laze around. But staying home is not an option for the Pokémon master-to-be. While we at Time Out Hong Kong don't advise braving gale-force winds and near-flood levels of rain for a mobile game, we know there are those insane enough to try. At least there will be water-type Pokémon.
Sitting in on Legco meetings
One of the (few) democratic things that our government ensures for us is the opportunity to sit in on general meetings held by our Legislative Council. These are generally serious matters that are integral to keeping our city running smoothly, but we bet that after Pokémon Go hits the Hong Kong app stores there'll be a few deliciously rare Pokémon in the meeting rooms. Someone surely is bound to start walking around when a member has the floor in search of that elusive character, and it'll be great.
Getting things stuck in the MTR train doors
We're all about go, go, go in this fast-paced city, and getting stuck in the MTR doors is a quick way to make enemies of people in our immediate vicinity, usually consummated in the form of a scoffing glare. We definitely foresee Pokémon-related problems in this scenario, especially if you're trying to get that Pikachu that's chewing on the wires underneath the train, peeking up over the gap.
Wandering into gyms
We imagine that this will be less of a problem now that California Fitness has shut down, but it still stands that the beefier fighting-type Pokémon will definitely be pumping iron at one of Hong Kong's many gyms. Our concern isn't for the average gym-goer, but should you find yourself successfully in a gym catching Pokémon, be wary of the salesmen and women who always try to pry open the Hongkonger's wallet.
Meeting and talking to other people
Everyone wants their personal space in this city. There is the sly look of disdain when the adjacent, previously unoccupied seat on the bus gets taken up by someone else, and the constant discomfort of sharing tables at good restaurants. Hongkongers just don't talk to each other in public spaces. But one of the amazing things that Pokémon Go has done around the world is draw players together, whether it's to battle it out at certain landmarks or to go on a catching spree together, making new relationships along the way. God forbid that people get to know each other in this city, but that's just what might happen.
Image credits: Creative Commons/ rkdg portfolio