A new augmented reality game in which players can search for Pokemon using their smartphones has skyrocketed in popularity. Pokemon GO has led to a potentially beneficial side effect of encouraging users to get outside and exercise. However, playing the game might increase one’s risk of being party to an accident or crime. Two men in Encinitas, North San Diego County, fell from a bluff while playing Pokemon GO. Around 70 miles north, a man playing the game was stabbed in a park in Anaheim. In a different park in San Diego, three young women searching for Pokemon discovered a dead body instead. They are not the only people to have come across bodies while playing the game, according to CW 6 San Diego.
According to Nola.com, law enforcement agencies countrywide are reporting attacks and strange circumstances linked to Pokemon GO in the week since it became available. The game was released on July 6. One week later, two men in their 20s fell from the cliff in Encinitas. One of the men was discovered unconscious after presumably falling 50 feet while the other Pokemon GO player fell at least 75 feet. Firefighters rescued the men, who suffered moderate injuries.
Sgt. Rich Eaton of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said the men had probably been trying to catch Pokemon. “I think people just need to realize this is a game,” he said. “It’s not worth your life. No game is worth your life.”
The same day the men fell from the bluff another man was sent to hospital in a Pokemon GO-related incident. The man was playing the game in Schweitzer Park when a group of five or six men attacked and stabbed him several times. The attack occurred around 12:30 AM.
The previous Sunday, two men playing Pokemon GO at a park in Sacramento County were robbed and carjacked.
On July 14, three girls found a heavily decomposed body at Marian Bear Memorial Park in San Diego. The discovery was made a little before 3PM. Players of the game have discovered dead bodies in New Hampshire and Wyoming as well.
The number of reported incidents in which people have been hurt or robbed while playing might give others pause when considering future gaming. But, Pokemon GO’s success means that chances are you or someone you know plays Pokemon GO or will take up a similar augmented reality game in the future, potentially leading to an unforeseen negative outcome.
Preparing for an unforeseen outcome such as death or injury is a wise decision for gamers and non-gamers alike. A legal document assistant could help you get your affairs in order with a will or living trust. If you have children, appointing a guardian or clarifying custody in the event that you become unable to be responsible for them due to illness, incapacitation, or passing away could prevent additional hardship for them. Contact CALDA.org today to learn more.