Pokemon Go Distraction Can Be Dangerous

Pokemon Go Distraction Can Be Dangerous

Last month, the United States saw a major leap into the realm of augmented reality following the release of the mobile phenomenon Pokémon Go. The popular app immerses users in the world of Pokémon, requiring them to venture out of their homes in search of the well-known pocket monsters. The goal, as many people know, is to catch them all. Unfortunately, even with such a noble intention in mind, the game has certainly had its share of problems.

One major issue that the app’s producer, Niantic, did not foresee is the vast number of injuries that have surfaced now that users are wholly consumed by their phones. This disregard for the outside world – that is, outside of a screen – has resulted in numerous injuries for the children and adults who enjoy the app.

One pediatric hospital in Ontario, Canada, in the past month alone, has treated at least a dozen patients who suffered injuries while playing the popular game. While many of the children only saw minor injuries and a quick recovery time, others may not be so lucky in the future.

Additionally, accidents while driving may become a particularly dangerous result of the mobile game, as drivers become quick to take their eyes off the road in search of their next rare catch. This distraction, according to a study done at Texas A&M University, can roughly be equated to the dangers of texting while driving, which accounts for nearly one out of every four car accidents.

Other aspects of Pokémon Go have led to various instances of crime. In-game lures, which serve as hotspots for Pokémon, and thus players, have sadly become points of interests for kidnappers and robbers who choose to take advantage of the unassuming gamer. One such robbery occurred on the Indiana State University campus on August 13, and this is certainly not an isolated incident. Similarly, multiple shootings have occurred across the globe, one claiming the life of a young adult in Chiquimula, Guatemala.

With augmented reality soon to become a major player in the world of gaming, it is essential that players learn to stay conscious of the world around them in order to keep these new games both same and inviting.