The Pokemon Go Craze
Got Pokémon Go?
Since its release in the U.S. on Wednesday, July 6, Pokémon Go has already amassed more than 15 million downloads on Apple’s App Store and Google Play, causing servers to crash in the process. The Independent reported that Pokémon Go servers were down, causing fans to panic. They were restored shortly afterward.
We at Back in the Day encourage you to play Pokémon Go responsibly. If you’re in a car, drive to arrive alive; if you’re on foot, walk to not become chalk (outline); and if you’re biking, don’t act like a Viking, you know that whole pillage and plunder mentality. We personally have kids who are taking part in the fun, but you always have to keep in mind that it’s only a game, it’s not real.
So a little bit about Pokémon Go. It’s a free augmented reality game that’s based on players chasing down a variety of digital creatures at real locations using their smartphones. Digital items can be used within the game and recharges can be found at so-called ‘PokeStops’ which are often located at real landmarks.
The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though they were actually in the real world. It makes use of a combination of GPS and the camera on compatible digital devices. The game is free-to-play, although it supports the purchase of additional gameplay items.
The Pokémon Go craze that’s sweeping the nation is not all fun and games. Evidence of widespread monster madness ranges from driving accidents to distracted pedestrians and dangerous trespassing. With the end result being that the phenomenal success of Nintendo’s “Pokémon GO” game is fueling public safety concerns.
Take for starters the 28 year old man who stated that he was chasing a Pokémon when his Volkswagen sedan veered off the road and into a tree outside of Auburn, New York
Two men apparently playing the game had to be rescued after falling off a 90-foot ocean bluff in San Diego, California this week.
Another man who was playing the game in Los Angeles made a wrong turn and wandered into an area where he was attacked by a group of young men, a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Fortunately none of these individuals mentioned above were seriously hurt, even the two men who fell nearly 100 feet only suffered minor injuries.
That said, “Death by Pokémon is coming,” warns Gerry Beyer, of the Texas Tech University School of Law. “Pokémon users will have all sorts of accidents as they use the program while walking, biking, driving, etc.”
A massive number of Pokémon Go players stampeded through NYC’s Central Park on Thursday, July 14, after spotting a rare Pokémon in the public green space and the stunning incident was captured on video.
The crowd of earnest Pokémon players were all alerted to the presence of the super-rare Pokémon, a Vaporeon, wandering around Central Park late Thursday night and began to swarm the spot. Several individuals even exited their cars in the street in order to get in on the action, but no injuries or accidents were reported from the scene.
This “Pokémon GO” firestorm has already prompted a flood of warnings from police departments. “As you battle, train, and capture your Pokémon just remember you’re still in the real world!” warned San Francisco Police Department, in a Facebook post Tuesday. Other law enforcement agencies have already reported accidents, injuries and robberies where suspects have used the game to lure potential victims, it added.
A rapid escalation of trespassing incidents have also been linked to the game. For example, three teenagers were stopped at Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Ohio on Tuesday when they trespassed onto the site in pursuit of Pokémon characters.
Fire stations all over the country have posted public service messages steering the playing public away from their local fire stations. Pokémon players have also gotten a stern warning to stay away from Arlington National Cemetery, the Holocaust Museum and the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.
Yet to come, an optional companion Bluetooth wearable device is planned for future release, the Pokémon Go Plus, and will alert users when Pokémon are nearby. As a final word, remember people, it’s just a game and it’s not worth serious bodily harm or worse.