Launched in the US last Thursday, Pokemon Go has swept the nation. The popularity of smartphone game has sent shares of Nintendo skyrocketing, and has people going to places they wouldn’t normally visit. The game requires players to explore the real world to find Pokémon, collect items and conquer gyms.
Twenty-four hours after its release Pokemon was downloaded more times than the Tinder app and players are spending more time playing this than reading twitter.
While it’s supposed to be fun and safe, a Wyoming teen discovered a dead body, a home in Massachusetts has been deemed a “Pokemon Gym” and 4 people have been arrested in Missouri.
Video: Pokémon Go is Game Freak and Nintendo’s upcoming mobile game that allows players to catch Pokémon found in real world locations using your phone’s camera. See first-time beta footage of the game here. (The Pokémon Company International and Niantic)
The Washington Post reports:
“In a Facebook post Sunday, police in O’Fallon, Missouri, said four people used the app to target victims in armed robberies in the St. Louis area in recent days.
“It is believed these suspects targeted their victims through the Pokemon Go smart phone application,” according to the social media post. Specifically, the robbers appear to have watched the game’s map for a particular player-triggered feature that attracts Pokemon to a specific location for a limited time – to figure out when potential victims were likely to be in isolated areas such as parking lots.”
Boon Sheridan and his family live in an old converted church in Massachusetts. suddenly found his house had become a Pokemon Go gym (where you train your characters). CNN says Sheridan has been taking it all in stride and posted one of his tweets:
Boon Sheridan Tweet (CNN)
Mashable talked with the guru’s behind Pokemon Go and how they adapted the 1960’s game to todays technology.
One point that’s repeated to players throughout the game is safety.
John Hanke, the CEO and founder of Niantic tells Mashable:
safety has always been a priority. One of the criteria for Ingress portals, which are now Pokéstops and gyms, is that they be safe and publicly accessible. “The goal is they are places that are pedestrian-safe,” he explained. There have been reports of Ingress players running into trouble with the authorities for lurking in odd locations, however.
As for Pokémon, players shouldn’t have to go out of their way to capture them. “We also try to limit the spawning of the Pokémon — not to roadways, or in the vicinity of the user so that they don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary,” Hanke said.