Image Credit: androidcentral.com
By now you have probably heard of the latest sensation taking over phones – Pokémon Go. This app is world-shattering as it is taking over lives and actually forcing people to get off their couch. So if people make a fuss about how this app is persuading teens or kids at heart to stay at home, they are wrong. The app is so popular in places where it’s already playable that servers that make it work have been crashing.
John Hanke, boss of Niantic, even mentioned that because of those issues the company has decided to push the pause button on releasing the game in other countries (bummer for us Malaysians) until they’re comfortable. It came out in the States on July 7 after being originally released in Australia and New Zealand.
Players are going out into the world and catching some sunshine because they want to find these loveable pocket monsters. However, since this app started getting popular, there has been a whole bunch of bizarre occurrences and mishaps. In addition to the app causing unexpected soreness because kids are suddenly having the “urge to exercise”, in Wyoming, there was a teen who discovered a dead body floating in her hometown river while out playing the game.
A man’s house in Massachusetts, USA, was newly reported to have been turned into a gym on Pokémon Go and now people are flocking to his property. Boon Sheridan moved last year into a beautiful home that was originally built as a church in the 1800s. He downloaded the new Pokémon Go app and his house showed up on the game as a “gym”, a place where people can train and fight their Pokémon. He didn’t think much of it, but people started showing up at his house. Imagine people stopping by and just lingering on their phones nearby – he has even had car visits. Teens would sit outside ogling his house and on their phones.
Image: Boon Sheridan
The reason being that players have to remain in the proximity to “train” their fighters. Boon even met the “owner” of the “gym” which is strange considering the “gym” is inside his home. Sheridan said he hopes to talk to the developers behind the game to ask if they could put some restrictions on when people can come to his home or maybe move the gym to the nearby park.
Moreover, in Missouri, armed robbers used the app to target victims (aka they’re the new real-life Team Rocket). The Missouri Police Department reported on Facebook that armed robbers have used the app to bait victims in and rob them at gunpoint. They received reports about the robberies and were able to arrest four suspects in the area. The thieves used the app to set up a beacon at the Pokéstop within the game. About eight or nine people have been robbed by these men over the past couple of days.
Although we are clearly green-eyed that everyone else is already part of this “augmented reality” game, we beseech players to stay safe. People already have reported zoning out in numerous ways as they wander the real world, eyes stuck to their smartphone screens in search of these digital pocket monsters. At least, the game has one failsafe feature — you can't hatch digital eggs while driving. That entails slower in-person movement in the real world.
I guess…that means no playing Pokémon Go while you are driving! Phew. Or else people could get seriously hurt.