On July 6, 2016, Pokémon-Go was released in app stores across the United States, allowing the augmented reality game to rapidly gain popularity nation-wide. Based on the popular television series, Pokémon, the game allows players to capture, fight, and train virtual cartoon characters they come in contact with in public.
Playing the game has led to appeals for players to avoid it in certain public places, such as the United States Holocaust Museum and Arlington National Cemetary, considering it inappropriate to capture Pokémon creatures in such hallowed locations. On the other hand, the National Mall spokesman indicated, “As long as it’s not disruptive to others or the meaning of the memorials then we don’t have a problem with it.”
According to a recent report from NBC News, playing the game has led to a spike in smart phone game related injuries leading many police departments and safety agencies to warn players to stay safe and alert when participating. Listed below are brief summaries of some bizarre incidents that have resulted from playing Pokémon-Go:
Several police departments, including New York, Miami, Austin and Los Angeles, have issued safety tips for how to play Pokémon-Go safer:
- “Be alert at all times.
- Stay aware of your surroundings.
- Play in pairs or as a group to ensure 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.”
We encourage you to enjoy the fun games available with your smart phone, but to be safe while doing it. As we have posted many times in the past, being distracted while driving can result in disastrous consequences.