The new game for your phone that everyone is not only talking about, but also playing at work, at home and everywhere in between is the new Pokemon Go app. It has surpassed downloads of the popular dating app Tinder, and surpassed the daily usage of the Twitter app as well. It’s done all of this while only being out a week, starting July 5th, 2016.
Pokémon Go, is specifically a mobile game, a celebration of the 1991 Pokemon creator’s initial idea of going around to find the original 151 Pokémon characters. Available for both Android and iPhone operating systems, Pokémon Go uses your device’s ability to track time and your location, and allows you to catch Pokémon the same way as in the original game — by virtually launching red and white “Poké Balls” at them.
Be warned, though: while the hugely popular Pokémon GO is a lot of fun and has its benefits, there are plenty of things that can go wrong while playing. Since the game’s launch last week, stories have been flooding in of unfortunate players who’ve ended up in awkward or even downright dangerous situations as they’ve played – everything from sprained ankles to muggings have become commonplace as so many unprepared players take to the streets in search of their favorite pocket monsters.
Players need to remember that they’re still in the real world and they need to take in their surroundings. Being unaware of what’s happening around you, or it could lead to physical injury or dangerous situations.
And it’s not just kids either. With the growing number of adults and retirees who are playing games on their phones now, everyone needs to be warned. Law enforcement agencies throughout the world have already reported accidents, injuries, and a string of robberies where suspects have set up fake “PokeSpots.”
It’s a situation other police forces are becoming all too familiar with. Local police in the O’Fallon, Mo. department said they arrested four suspects who used Pokémon Go as a way to execute a string of armed robberies. The suspects would use the game to lure players in the St. Louis area in and then they would proceed to rob them. The department has since issued a statement asking players, especially those with young children, to be careful when sending out their personal locations.
“If you use this app (or other similar type apps) or have children that do we ask you to please use caution when alerting strangers of your future location,” the statement reads.
Areas like heavily forested regions, large bodies of water, and hillsides are especially dangerous, police departments have warned, and it has been suggested that if players want to explore these regions they should be extra careful and should never venture out alone.