Ricochet News

Pokémon GO: Risks to avoid when trying to ‘Catch ém all’

By Jesica Slabbert - Jul 21, 2016
Pokémon GO: Risks to avoid when trying to ‘Catch ém all’

By now everybody knows about the popular mobile game Pokémon GO. Social media and local news don’t go a single day without mentioning the game at least once.

But with this game comes a long list of safety risks that players need to be on the lookout for.

Pokémon GO requires players to turn on their GPS on their mobile devises in order to track the player’s location so that they can acquire Pokémon and Pokéstops. And in order to find either the player needs to constantly look down at their screen.

This alone is a major safety risk for all players for a number of reasons.

For starters, players can become so focused on their screens that they will forget their surroundings entirely and end up falling over and bumping into objects, causing minor to serious injuries.

This also provides criminals with the opportunity to swipe your mobile device when you least expect it. Walking around with your mobile device held loosely in your hands makes it all too easy for criminals to run past and grab it right out of your hands.

There have also been reports that some players are using the game to draw players out and mug them, by placing an item in the game called a ‘Lure’on Pokéstops. Lures are used in the game to draw out rare Pokémon which is why it is easy to use as a trap for players.

There have also been cases when players would trespass onto someone’s property to try and capture a Pokémon. These players are sometimes met with violent and angry home owners and can find themselves in a police car headed towards jail.

The most dangerous risk though, is players who try to play the game when operating a motor vehicle. Texting and calling while driving is already a serious problem that has cost many motorists their lives and unable to walk again, now playing Pokémon is added to the mix with accidents already occurring world-wide.

Hacking is also a possibility but nothing has been reported yet.

These risks are very real, but they can be easily avoided if met with the proper conditions.

Players walking around town to play the game should do so in large groups, this will make it less likely for criminals to target you and try to steal your mobile devices. This should also be applied when trying to find Pokéstops with Luresto ensure your safety.

Sure finding a rare Pokémon in somebody’s backyard can be considered lucky, but that is no excuse to trespass. It is easy to be mistaken for a criminal like this and can end badly for the player involved. It is best to avoid going onto home owner’s property at all, but if you just can’t leave without catching that Pikachu then at least ask for the home owner permission before you try to scale their wall. Trust me, the Pokémon will still be there.

It is never advisable to be on your phone when driving. Most players do this when trying to hatch eggs, which require a player to go a certain distance for it to hatch. Do not do this! While you might get that rare Pokémon you’ve always wanted it is not worth your life, especially if it turns out to be a Pidgey. In this case give the phone to whoever is in the passenger seat and have them play the game for you, it ensures your safety and you get the benefit of catching and hatching Pokémon.

Remember while Pokémon GO is fun, you should always put your own safety and well-being first. And while everyone wants to be a Pokémon Master, it helps if you’re a smart and safe one.