Is Pokemon Go becoming a dangerous app?

  • Pokemon Go is an ‘augmented reality’ game where players search for digital monsters in the real world using their smartphones
  • The app has been reportedly linked to some accidents and criminal activity
  • According to Missouri police, local robbers used the app to lure players to secluded areas where they can be easily robbed

Since its July 6 release, more and more people are getting into the Pokemon Go bandwagon.

The ‘augmented reality’ mobile game, which gives  a new spin on the classic Pokemon franchise, quickly shot to the top of the charts for Apple App Store and Google Play Store as players — with eyes glued to their smartphones —  wander the real world in search of digital monsters. But as the game steadily rise in popularity, so do crime and casualties related to the game.

Several reports of accidents have been linked to the app; resulting from players staring at their screens and not being entirely aware of what is around them, as per an article published by CBS.

“Not even 30 minutes after the release, I slipped and fell down a ditch,” a player shared. “Fractured the 5th metatarsal bone in my foot, 6-8 weeks for recovery. Watch where you’re going, folks!”

The game was also reported to have been used in criminal activity, as per an article published by The Guardian. According to Missouri police department, local robbers used the app to tempt players to going into secluded areas where they could easily be robbed.

“Using the geolocation feature,” a police officer said, “the robbers were able to anticipate the location and level of seclusion of unwitting victims.”

The police warned: “If you use this app or have children that do, we ask you to please use caution when alerting strangers of your future location.”

The app itself includes a warning in the loading screen asking players to pay attention to their surroundings, but it’s clear that some people are getting too excited that they forget about their own safety.

“Pay attention to your surroundings; you never know what beautiful or interesting things you’ll see while playing the game,” app maker Niantic Inc. reminds the players.

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