Pokémon Go has been all the craze this summer. People all over the nation and world have been found wandering around following their phones to collect these mystical creatures and compete in battles. After its release to most regions worldwide in July 2016, the game quickly became one of the most used smart device apps, with more than 30 million people worldwide downloading the app.
The game, Pokémon Go, is a free game that makes use of GPS and a mobile devices camera to support the location based reality game. Players must establish an account and then create an avatar, selecting hair, skin, eye color and other style choices. Once the avatar is created, it is then displayed showing the player’s current location along with a map of the surrounding location. The map then also includes the number and location of other Pokémon in the immediate area. As players move around and travel, their avatar moves along the game’s map. The free app then allows players to “capture” digital creatures at real locations using their mobile device.
The game has been hailed by some as a great activity, getting kids and teens to get out and exercise as they walk and try to “encounter” other Pokémon, improving physical and mental health. Yet others warn about the dangers involved with playing the game. Not only has the popular game attracted controversy for driving accidents, distracted pedestrians and dangerous trespassing, the popular gaming app is fueling public safety fears. The fundamentals of the game give a person’s location, and has been used to lure victims to a specific location for robberies and other criminal activities. As well, police have voiced concerns regarding Pokémon players who trespass that could be considered home invaders by home owners and could be confronted with owners who feel they are defending their property and lives.
Regardless if you are playing the game yourself, it is something to take note of for your security and that of those around you.