Pokemon Go: Is it safe to play?
Almost as soon as it’s been released into the public eye, Pokemon Go, an augmented reality game that is played on smartphones, also began influencing real life. Even if you are a critic of these “pocket monsters,” you will still likely encounter the mania all around you.
Players are often caught running through the streets and maybe even on your property in hopes of snagging a new character for points. The game, made by Niantic and the Pokemon Company didn’t predict the power and obsession these Pokemon would quickly inflict on players. What once was an innocent and fun way to pass time has become a gamble on players lives.
Pokemon Go Gets Police Attention
The game has been known to cause injuries, car crashes, and has even sparked lawsuits. Even worse, children are being lured into isolated locations and literally “falling victim” off cliff sides.
“Police departments all over the nation are issuing warnings to players not to trespass on private property to catch Pokemon. They are also using social media to remind players to keep their head up, rather than in their phones, while playing on the streets and on the roads.”1
Car accidents while playing Pokemon
On the night of July 12th a 28 year old driver was injured in Auburn, New York, after crashing into a tree while playing Pokemon GO. Police didn’t release the driver’s information, but luckily the driver only suffered minor injuries. Judging from the photo below, the operator seems to be very fortunate to walk away without major lacerations.
Shortly after a teenager from Melbourne, Australia, age 19, crashed his car into a school building, also while playing Pokemon Go. While he failed to catch Pokemon balls, eggs, or potions he did attract police and debris from the unfortunate accident.
Suggestions From The Police
While more and more police become involved, they continue to prepare for Pokemon Go. More and more detectives and chiefs are becoming steeped in the language of the game and even accidentally catching fugitives with these efforts. As well, local police recently compiled a list of tips for game players with the following suggestions:
- Don’t use the application while operating a motor vehicle or riding a bicycle
- While trying to catch a Pokemon do not trespass on private property
- Be aware of your surroundings when walking and don’t stare down at your phone not knowing hazards around you, like roadways, drop offs, waterways, etc.
- Use caution while sharing your location as strangers can see your location information
- Travel in groups in public/well-lit locations
Other Injuries Reported By Users
- "Pokemon Go put me in the ER last night."
- "Not even 30 minutes after the release last night, I slipped and fell down a ditch."
- "Fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in my foot, 6-8 weeks for recovery
- Many others posted they had mishaps and minor scraps from chasing Pokemon a little too enthusiastically.
In a statement, The Pokemon Company said, "We are constantly looking at ways to add safety features to Pokemon Go and expect to incorporate some features based on user experience in future builds."2
Safe Tips To Practice While Playing Pokemon Go
- Never Play on Your Smart Phone While Operating a Vehicle - If you take your eyes off the road for only 5 seconds your chances of a car accident are dramatically increased.
- Do Not Trespass Onto Private Property - Whether you are trying to catch a Blastoise or not; trespassing on someone's property is never a good idea. Massachusetts police has urged players to keep the Pokemon hunting to parks and public areas. Not only is trespassing a criminal offense but it also is very dangerous to wander on forbidden property.
- Play Around Memorials - People have been cited playing on Memorial grounds such as the Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Holocaust Museum. Be certain you aren't gaming in areas that could be deemed disrespectful.
- Play in Isolated Areas - There have been reported robberies associated with secluded areas. In Missouri, armed robbers used the game to lure gamers in isolated areas and rob them of their smartphones. Be sure to play the game in secure and busy public areas with friends.
- Don't Cross Roadways While Hunting Pokemon - Since the games release, there has been an increase in the number of people glued to their smartphone screens rather than paying attention to their surroundings. The most common injuries people report are bumps and bruises; however, others have suffered from falling into ditches, and walking into trees, other people, and some have even walked into oncoming traffic.
If you suffered injuries after a car accident or need legal assistance after an accident, contact the Brown Firm today. Our Georgia personal injury attorneys are here to immediately assist you with any questions or concerns in legal matters regarding your accident injuries, we will fully protect your rights.
Keep Reading: What you Should Know about Georgia Laws and Personal Injury.
1. Police Nationwide Warn Players About Pokemon Go Crimes ... (n.d.). Retrieved from http://blogs.findlaw.com/blotter/2016/07/police-nationwide-warn-players-about-po
2. Pokemon Go?s unexpected side effect: injuries - The ...(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/07/08/pokemon-gos-unexpec