Pokemon, the phenomenon that was largely popular back in the 1990s, has been relatively quiet for more than a decade, but all that changed this month with the release of a new game.
According to The Washington Post, a new mobile game, “Pokemon Go” launched on July 6 and is already the most profitable game on Apple and Google’s app stores. The app nearly passed Twitter in daily active users (DAUs) and rose Nintendo’s stock more than 25%.
According to Patch, Annapolis Police issued a statement about the dangers of the app:
“The app uses a geolocation feature and allows others to anticipate where a crowd may gather. Some have taken advantage of this feature and robbed players. This has not happened in Annapolis. While out and about you should always travel with others, stay in well-lit locations, always stay alert and if you feel uncomfortable you should leave.”
The game — which requires users to wander around looking through their phones to find these small cartoon creatures — is fun for players but causing problems around the country. WJLA reports that a skateboarder in New York City recently hurt himself while trying to find these Pokemon.
“I just wanted to be able to stop quickly if there were any Pokemons nearby to catch,” said Mike Schultz, 21, a communications graduate on Long Island and one of the more than 11 million people who skateboard on a regular basis. Schultz crashed his skateboard because he was staring at his phone to find these virtual critters.
Meanwhile, some people found a little more than just small bruises. In Wyoming, a 19-year-old, Shayla Wiggins, stumbled upon a dead body while she was looking for Pokemon.
At least four players in Missouri were lured by other players to isolated areas and then robbed.
Another player ended up in the emergency room within 30 minutes of downloading the game.
“Not even 30 minutes after the release last night,” said a Reddit user, “I slipped and fell down a ditch. Fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in my foot, 6-8 weeks for recovery. I told all the doctors I was walking my dog.”
There is no doubt that the game is enjoying a significant spike in interest around the world, but users will have to learn to watch where they are going.