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Pokemon GO – Is It Really That Dangerous?

Since it’s launch a few weeks ago, Pokemon Go has gained a buzz among most age groups, and has it’s players addicted in no time to catching the virtual monsters.

Obsessed players on this augmented virtual App can be seen with cell phone in hand, anxiously buzzing down the streets to various destinations, chasing the animated monsters showing on the screen.

Through the GPS system on the mobile phone, Pokemon Go knows where you are at all times.  Little monsters pop up on the screen with the aim being the more you capture/collect the better, as this will result in you being able to wage war on other players.

Mobile game players see this game as fun with the belief that, ‘It must be good for you, if it gets you off the couch and out and about outdoors’.

But now just a few weeks after the launch of this App, reports are coming out about players causing havoc, and risking their lives as they anxiously go about catching as many monsters as possible.

Pokemon Go – Yes It Really Is That Dangerous

The Pokemon LURE – Pokemon works by spawning selected Pokemon monsters and items to various locations.  Many other Pokemon players also get the same monster to catch at the same location.   This has proven to be extremely dangerous as it didn’t take long for muggers to join in on the action in a quest to mug isolated players.

Police reports include – An incident in Missouri, where 3 guys lured players to a secluded parking lot, and robbed them at gun point.  Police have noted that at certain levels of the game players can congregate at local destinations to form teams and battle.  Through the Geo-location feature the robbers were able to anticipate the location and and level of seclusion of unwitting victims.

In another Incident A Pokemon Player got Violently Stabbed – A man chasing a Pokemon monster in the middle of the night was led to an isolated park in Anaheim.  While at the park he got violently stabbed after an altercation with 5-6 youths.  The police don’t believe the attackers lured him to the park,  but think the victim was distracted.  They encourage other Pokemon Go players to play the game safely and  not to lose sight of what you are doing.

Players Having or Causing Accidents – While chasing monsters, players quickly become oblivious to paying attention to other things around them.  There have been numerous reports of players falling over, walking into posts, walking onto busy roads and injuring themselves in various ways while playing Pokemon Go.  See some examples below…

15 year Old Pennsylvania Girl Walks out onto a Busy Highway and got hit by a car when her mind was focused on Pokemon.   This teen was sent to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh with a collar bone injury, a foot injury and various cuts and bruises.  A spokes person from the hospital said this wasn’t the first case they have had of a Pokemon Go player getting injured.

2 Men Fell Off Cliff in California While Chasing Pokemon Monsters, one man fell 85 – 100 feet down the cliff, and the other was found unconscious about 50 feet down the cliff.

Playing Pokemon While Driving – Most people know you shouldn’t drive while using your cell phone.  It’s really a no brainer, but addicted Pokemon players are stupidly turning a blind eye to this and putting themselves, and others at risk on the roads, as their main focus is to catch more Pokemon monsters.

For example a man in New York drove his car into a tree while he was playing Pokemon, and was sent to hospital for minor injuries.  In another incident, 2 Canadian Police Officers were injured when 2 people reversed into their cruiser while playing Pokemon.

DEVICE to STOP PEOPLE USING APPS or TEXTING WHILE DRIVING Cellcontrol, a company based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has created DriverID, a $129 device that blocks teens from using apps like “Pokemon Go” while driving.

END NOTE:

So when playing Pokemon Go the message is clear…

  • Stay focused on your surroundings
  • Always play the game with a group of friends when going to isolated or unfamiliar places

Article written by Wen Dee (July 2016)

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