Pokemon Go: Caution and Common Sense

landscape-1456483171-pokemon2The Pokemon Go app has caused a sensation across the nation. Children and adults alike are playing the game.

The object is to collect various characters who ‘appear’ in real locations via a phone app that uses mapping technology to incorporate the game into a real world, real time search.

On the one hand, the game has actually brought families together, with parents and even grandparents joining the kids in a neighborhood search for Anime characters that appear for a short time and then disappear.  The chance to ‘capture’ the more elusive characters can result in some intense competition to get to a location before anyone else.

The physical aspect of the game is almost an exercise program for players, especially when compared with the typical video game player, plastered to the sofa, surrounded by junk food.

As a friend of mine said, “At least it’s getting kids to go outside and play.”

Unfortunately, therein lies a multitude of hazards, and not just for children. Adults playing the game can easily and suddenly find themselves in life threatening situations, especially if they become too absorbed in the game and become unaware of their surroundings beyond what’s on the screen.

Without knowing how the mapping aspect works when placing characters in locations, I have to assume it doesn’t necessarily distinguish between a dangerous alley in a bad part of town and a busy shopping district. That alone could lead to a multitude of potential hazards for players.

Everything from getting hit by a bus to getting mugged, and worse, has already been reported by the media as players rush about with their eyes glued to their phones.

Players who trespass on private property are subject to criminal charges, and could even end up getting shot by some, “get off my lawn!” guy or a trigger happy security guard. Imagine one’s surprise to discover the local drug dealers and street gangs don’t appreciate strangers wandering around their turf with camera phones.

Consequently, the odds of having an encounter with the police are also much higher for people prowling around neighborhoods in search of “Vareon”.

You have to wonder how many burglary suspects will claim they were actually playing Pokemon Go.

The most dangerous aspect of Pokemon Go is the interactive features of the game.

This can, and already has, lead to robberies, rapes, abductions. Even the police have used the game to capture people with outstanding warrants, but those instances are rare compared to the criminal acts being perpetrated on unsuspecting players.

Children should not be allowed to play the game without adult supervision, while teens and adults who play need to exercise caution and common sense. If a character appears  in a location that seems unsafe, or involves trespassing, don’t go there, no matter how rare it is.

Never agree to meet anyone you don’t already know, or share personal info. That’s just an invitation for trouble, whether it’s Pokemon Go or any other social media.

In the event you or anyone you know gets charged with a crime as a result of playing Pokemon Go, give us a call. Who knows? We may set a legal precedent with the Pokemon defense.




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