Safety Tips for “Pokemon Go” Players
Pokemon mania has spread across the country following the release of the Nintendo and Niantic game Pokemon Go. This augmented reality game allows users to catch Pokemon in virtual reality through their phones. The game uses your GPS and camera to create a virtual reality around you and embeds it with creatures. Users must move in real life to reach areas with new Pokemon to be captured. While the game has instantly shot to the top of the Apple and Google Play stores, some gamers are already reporting injuries, and it is possible more could follow. According to a report in the Boston Globe, gamers have so far reported slipping, tripping, and falling in a variety of locations due to staring at the screen, and others have indicated near misses while driving.
Pokemon Go has already generated much hype and could allow users to exercise while gaming, but all gamers should follow a few basic safety steps to ensure they play the game safely, including, among others:
- Never Pokemon Go and drive: You should never play Pokemon Go, or any other mobile game while driving. Looking at your cell phone screen instead of the road is extremely dangerous and can result in a serious accident.
- Do not look at the screen while walking: While you need to walk to find the Pokemon, you should not be looking at the screen while actually walking. Your phone will buzz when you come upon a critter, and you will have plenty of time to safely stop to catch it. Walking while staring at your phone can cause you to trip and fall, miss spotting an oncoming car, walk into obstacles, and other serious dangers.
- Look both ways: If you are walking around while playing Pokemon Go, always be sure to look up and look both ways before you cross the road.
- Never trespass: While the game encourages you to get moving in your neighborhood, you should never trespass on another person's property. This is not only illegal but can lead to injuries if there are dangerous conditions existing on the property.
- Use caution entering "Pokestops": The game offers so-called "Pokestops" and gyms where you can visit a local business or landmark to train your Pokemon, gather items, and more. Local businesses are often the site of these physical markers, but police stations have reported gathering crowds as well. Game makers have cautioned that you do not need to walk into the attraction to get your extras; standing outside is sufficient, and gamers should recognize that places like police stations are not appropriate to enter for the purpose of gaming. If the Pokestop or gym in question is a business, only enter if it is open to the public and looks safe.
Above all, it is important that users heed the advice of game creators to stay alert and focus on your surroundings. With some common sense and restraint, you can enjoy the game while also staying safe.
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