Letters to the Editor, August 4, 2016
Game craze seized on by entrepreneurs
Having lived for more than half a century, I find myself a little too old to join the Pokemon Go craze. But the sweeping impact of the game is undeniable.
As a rule, the old and the young differ markedly in their opinions.
The former stress that players, while chasing the monsters, are risking their safety and that of other people, while the latter focus on the fun aspects of the game.
I think that as long as people act sensibly, it is OK for them to play the game. And there are some positive aspects – it gets young people out of their flats during the long summer break.
Much as I’d like to suggest our youngsters spend time more productively by developing healthy hobbies, or do voluntary work or summer jobs, I can’t help but marvel at the ingenuity of the game’s creator. It’s not easy to develop something so accessible, addictive, and appealing to gamers around the world.
As is typical of Hong Kong, entrepreneurs are cashing in on its popularity. Some businesses are already maximising profits by taking advantage of the Pokemon Go craze and I’m sure more firms will jump on the bandwagon.
They are quite right to take advantage of this craze. If they don’t try to make some money, they will be left behind.
Jacqueline Kwan, Mid-Levels
Have fun but show some discipline too
When you walk outside, you see so many people playing Pokemon Go. It has become a global phenomenon.
One person interviewed in an article on the BBC website said that it was so much more interesting than work. The boss responded by saying let’s make work more interesting, more like the game. Playing Pokemon Go encourages workers’ creativity.
During the school holidays, many students often just stay at home, but with the game they are getting out and walking around, so this is good for their health. They are also exploring parts of the city that they were not familiar with and so they are learning more about Hong Kong and its buildings.
However, there is a downside with those players who are incapable of showing self-control. Like other online games, it can become addictive and this raises health and safety issues.
It can be a distraction for students who are having to study during this period. If they get completely wrapped up in the game, they will forget about their studies.
With games like Pokemon Go, it is important for youngsters to show some self-discipline.
Stephen Li, Tseung Kwan O
Interactive games should be banned
I am concerned about what can happen when there is interaction between the real world and the virtual world of computers.
In the real world, people have to follow laws and face consequences for their actions. There are no such rules in the virtual world.
I am referring to the latest game that uses a mobile device’s GPS capability.
Just as there have been calls to ban (at least for now) the auto-drive feature of an electric vehicle, for the same reasons, these interactive games should also be banned.
Wilkie Wong, Yuen Long
Sing national anthem to boost pride
There have been various stories in the press over the last few weeks saying that many Hongkongers are struggling with the concept of “one country”.
Maybe efforts should be made to focus people’s minds. To this end, I would suggest the national anthem of China be played twice daily in our shared spaces, say, at 7.45am and 12.45pm.
Venues could include, for example schools, parks, shopping malls, MTR stations and university campuses.
In quite a few cases, it should be possible to accompany the singing with the raising of the national and SAR flags (using physical or digital representations).
Interestingly, other jurisdictions do similar things. For instance, in Thailand the national anthem, Phleng Chat Thai, is played every day at 8am and 6pm.
Most people observe respectfully the 90-second “time-out” to reflect on bigger issues. From my trips to Indonesia in the early 1990s, I seem to recall the Pancasila (“way of life”) anthem-film being shown on television in the early evenings – again a good nation-binding activity.
Moreover, a large number of children in schools in the US start each school day by singing the Star Spangled Banner. And many of them, as they reach the end of the song, do so with a great deal of enthusiasm.
If a daily dose of nation-focused communal activity is good enough for the Thais, the Indonesians and the Americans, then perhaps it is time we in Hong Kong followed suit.
Jason Ali, Lantau
Independence calls don’t make sense
There have been growing calls from some quarters for Hong Kong to become independent.
If this actually happened, it would leave the city isolated from the rest of China and I do not actually think this would be feasible.
When I was younger, I thought about this issue and wondered if it would actually be a practical move.
I was just a kid so I didn’t really know much. But now that I am older, I have given it more thought and realise it could not happen as Hong Kong is a part of China.
Our economy is interlinked with the rest of the nation, with Hong Kong and mainland businesses trading with each other in so many different areas.
The logistic sectors of Hong Kong and the mainland are inextricably linked. I do not see how it could survive intact here if the city became isolated economically from the mainland.
Also, with an independent Hong Kong, relations between locals and mainlanders would deteriorate. And we could see disputes breaking out with regard to border controls and boundaries.
Also, we have no army, and under “one country, two systems”, we can depend on protection from the PLA.
If there was a conflict in the region, how would an independent city-state survive? We would have no army or navy to protect our borders.
I think these calls for Hong Kong to be independent and therefore isolated from the rest of the country do not make any sense.
Tsang Cho-him, Kowloon Bay
Taste of the Olympics in Sha Tin
I refer to the report, “Beijing’s iconic Water Cube comes to Hong Kong” (August 1).
Many Hongkongers are probably not paying much attention to the start of the Olympic Games in Rio.
However, now they can get a taste of a previous Olympics, in Beijing in 2008, thanks to German architect Chris Bosse. He has installed a small replica of the iconic Water Cube indoor swimming pool at New Town Plaza, Sha Tin.
People should visit, especially those who have not been able to get to Beijing on holiday and see the real thing.
The installation will also put the spotlight on the Rio Games, by screening animations of nine different Olympic sports.
I admire the athletes who spent so long preparing for the Games and I wish them well as they try to go for glory for their respective nations.
Joyce Ip, Lam Tin