Gamers around the globe are going crazy with the smart phone game Pokémon Go… And they are finding more than a fun experience with characters in the game. Gamers are finding themselves in dangerous and inappropriate situations.
If you don’t already know about the game — it’s a game for smartphones put out by Nintendo. And it requires Gamers to do more than just sit on a couch and play. Players walk around the real world, hunting down Pokémon. The game interacts with your phone’s camera and GPS, showing a Google Maps-style overlay of exactly where you are. The game assigns real places in the world — anything from large landmarks like buildings to smaller things like signs for in-game places, like gyms or Pokéstops that dispense items.
Pokémon Go Real-World Problems
Thus far, reports have come in that include situations where people have put all their focus on to the game and not their immediate activities and surroundings — which can result in bodily harm, breaking the law or just being disrespectful.
- An upstate New York man got into a Car Accident while playing the game — he veered off the road and crashed into a tree.
- A 15-year-old Pennsylvania girl was Hit by a Car while crossing a busy intersection.
- A Wyoming woman found a Dead Body in a river while playing the game.
- Four people were arrested in Missouri for multiple Armed Robberies after authorities said they appeared to have targeted victims using the new “Pokémon Go” game.
- Pokémon has visitors searching for characters hidden amongst the tombstones at Graceland Cemetery.
- A Pelham, NH Police Station was marked as a Pokémon stop — police have issued warnings not to come in.
- The Holocaust Museum in NY, along with many other landmarks, is a “PokéStop” — a place where players can get free in-game items. The Museum Communications Director, Andrew Hollinger told the NY Post “playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism.” They are trying to find out if they can get the museum excluded from the game.
- The pool outside of the 9/11 Memorial in NYC.
- Home Overtaken — A Massachusetts man was surprised to find that his house has been marked as a Pokémon gym: A place where people can train their fictional creatures. Gamers have been hanging out in his garden and cars have been blocking his driveway.
Pokémon Safety Tips
Police departments in New York, Miami, Austin and Los Angeles released their lists of safety tips on Wednesday 7/13 to prevent further Pokémon Go accidents, including:
- Be alert at all times.
- Stay aware of your surroundings.
- Play in pairs or as a group in well-lit areas to ensure your safety.
- Do not drive or ride your bike, skateboard, or other device while interacting with the app — “you can’t do both safely.”
- Do not trespass onto private property or go to areas you usually would not if you weren’t playing Pokémon Go.
- Be cautious of being lured into a bad situation.