A popular new smartphone app is causing concerns among transportation officials across the country. Unlike other video game apps, Pokémon Go uses smartphone cameras to bring the game to life. Pokémon was a popular animated television show and handheld video game in the late 1990s. However, many Pokémon Go players are adults playing for nostalgic value.
Pokémon Go requires players to interact with the game environment by getting up and moving around in the real world. Players can then interact with the Pokémon and capture them using pokéballs.
Pokémon Go also uses GPS to interact with other players and Pokémon. The game requires players to travel around local locations collecting Pokémon. For example, Charizard could be hanging out in front of a local Starbucks, requiring players to go to that location to capture the fire-breathing Pokémon.
Why does this game pose possible dangers to players? The risks are apparent if we use our latte-sipping Charizard as an example. Let’s say this Starbucks happens to be right next to a bicycle lane. See the risk? Players might be unaware of their surroundings while catching Pokémon or interacting with other features of the game.
Can Pokemon Go Cause Accidents?
The game might be dangerous because players will have their eyes glued to their smartphones while interacting with certain features. Transportation officials claim Pokémon Go players could cause pedestrian accidents and distracted driving accidents.
Pokémon Go is similar to Ingress, another smartphone game. According to The Denver Post, Ingress players have admitted to playing the game while driving or walking next to bicycle lanes. The article references the death a 48-year-old Irish man who lost his life while playing Ingress. Safety officials are concerned Pokémon Go players could face the same risks.
Remember, Pokémon Go opens with a safety warning telling people to keep an eye on their surroundings. If you are going to enjoy this new game, be sure to hunt Pokémon safely.