Pokemon Go has been downloaded over 10 million times to Android phones. On the surface, it seems like a game that brings people together, encourages exercise, and in general makes for a good alternative to sitting on the couch. However, there is more to this game than meets the eye. It presents very real dangers to children, teenagers and anyone who plays it.
Since the game’s launch early last week, there have been countless stories regarding accidents and real life dangers.
Because of the virtual reality nature of Pokemon Go, people are now wandering the streets trying to track down ‘Pokemon’ and capture them to attain new levels in the game. Gamers have to use their camera phone to spot creatures, and everyone knows how dangerous that can be.
Here are a few ways players are putting themselves in harm’s way by playing the game.
People are now not only texting while driving, but some have even been caught “Pokemoning” and driving. The game uses distance as a variable, which means the more ground you cover, the more creatures you can catch. Players have caught on to this and are using their vehicles to win the game and level up. Clearly, driving while playing is illegal (in most states) so not only is this dangerous it’s also criminal. A few accidents have even been reported and linked to the game.
Some people have even ran into lampposts and trees. One Redditor even admitted to having fractured a bone in their foot within just thirty minutes of playing the game—the Redditor lied to ER staff and told them they had been walking their dog.
The issue has gotten so bad that the Austin, Texas, police department even issued a statement this week regarding the game asking citizens to “Stay aware, and watch out for trees.”
Besides broken bones, players are also facing robbers. Criminals in St. Louis recently lured a gamer to an isolated location and robbed him. A similar incident happened in Austin, when a player was robbed at gunpoint. It’s easy to see why the Austin Police Department felt the need to issue a warning.
Losing Your Way
Others have gotten lost while playing the game, simply because they weren’t paying attention to their surroundings. Wandering off into the countryside isn’t exactly a good idea, especially since you likely won’t have a map to find your way back!
If you do play Pokemon Go, or allow your children to, make awareness a top priority. If your kids are playing it, ask them to always go out as a group, and make sure they turn the game off while in the car. Stress the issue strongly, as it could keep them out of harm’s way. Ask your kids to ask themselves if a Pokemon creature is worth losing their life over. We certainly don’t think so, and we’re confident you don’t either.