The Ugly Side of Pokémon Go

July 6, 2016 marked the release of a game that would revolutionize the gaming world. Niantic released Pokémon Go, a free to play; location based augmented reality game which rapidly became the game to play in Europe and the States. The game is notoriously known for involving whoever is playing it to levels that they become oblivious of what is happening around them. Within months of its release, a dark side had started to sprout in road accidents which brought about injuries, destruction of property and loss of life. Property lost amounts to millions.
Precisely within 148 days of its release, an accident report was looked into by two economists from Purdue University and the results were shocking. Just in Indiana, Tippecanoe County, there was a vast damage of property, injuries as well the death of two people. All this alone amounted to an astonishing figure of between 5.2 to around 25.5 million U.S dollars! In the United States as a whole, it is reported that more than a hundred and ten thousand road accidents happened in just ten days The game allows use of digital items found in ‘Poke Stops’ which are usually found in real landscape. These stops have been credited to be the main causes of accidents in most states. Police warning and statements in San Francisco about being careful while driving, walking or even cycling while playing the game have been issued. Apart from getting injured or causing an accident in a busy road, Pokémon’s Go players are also subject to serious injuries or even death from property users who may feel that their property is being trespassed.
However, Niantic have taken a step to issue a warning every time a user opens the app, warning players to be careful about the surrounding and going further to asking a player to agree to fine print saying that they will respect private property and will not access it without permission, something they do not always observe.