Pokemon Go zombies: Police say to take care


PokemonGO-June15-Seadra

Image via pokemongo.com

PokemonGO-June15-Seadra-on-map

Image via pokemongo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can be forgiven if you think there is a zombie apocalypse going on. In almost any given public space, crowds of people are wandering around in a transfixed state. Don’t be alarmed, they are just playing Pokemon Go, the new augemented reality phone game craze that’s sweeping the nation. Check out this brief but amusing video clip of Pokemon Go players at Central Park!

On the upside, Pokemon is an unexpected source of health: many people are gaming their way to fitness.

Pokemon are little Japanese monsters that you are supposed to catch – made popular in video games by Nintendo. Now, there’s a new augmented reality version that you can download and play on your phone.
Instead of simply chasing down the monsters on a video screen, you must go out to find and capture the collection of 100+ monsters in a real-world scavenger hunt. In the short time since the game’s release on July 6, it’s taken the world by storm… and it’s having an unintended side effect for many … it is increasing their exercise. It may be the biggest game-related exercise motivator since the introduction of the Wii and the Wiifit .

On the downside, public safety officials, police and gamers themselves are reporting some problems:

  • Distracted walking & running
  • Distracted Driving
  • Other unsafe behaviors and lapses in common sense
  • Criminals may use the game to lure you in

It appears some of the main problems are injuries from falls, sprains and strains from players not looking where they were going, walking into objects, tripping or the like. Other gamers complain of sunburns from being outside all day. People are sharing reports of their Pokemon Go injuries all over social media

This news story lists other problems, too. There have also been a few police reports of robberies where criminals have set up fake PokeSpots to target players. And bizarrely, instead of finding a Pokemon monster, one poor user chanced upon a dead body!

Safety officials say keep your common sense about you. Don’t drive while playing – that’s just stupid and would be illegal in most states. Don’t play while riding on bikes or skateboarding, either. Don’t go out walking around alone at night if you wouldn’t normally do so. Be careful about going to neighborhoods or places that you are unfamiliar with. Be careful about intruding on private property. Stay alert for urban an natural hazards in your path. Authorities say to use caution when alerting strangers of your future location.

So like many other popular things, it’s fun but be careful!

Learn more at the Pokemon Go official site  or check out this article with Your biggest Pokémon Go questions, answered.

Take the “texting while driving game” to see how you fare with distractions


When it comes to driving distractions like cellphones and texting, most people underestimate the danger that they pose and overestimate their own ability to multitask at the wheel. The New York Times has created a text while driving simulator, an interactive game that measures how your reaction time is affected by external distractions. Try it out and see how you do.
According to a news story accompanying this game, there is extensive research documenting the dangers of distracted driving:

“Studies say that drivers using phones are four times as likely to cause a crash as other drivers, and the likelihood that they will crash is equal to that of someone with a .08 percent blood alcohol level, the point at which drivers are generally considered intoxicated. Research also shows that hands-free devices do not eliminate the risks, and may worsen them by suggesting that the behavior is safe.
A 2003 Harvard study estimated that cellphone distractions caused 2,600 traffic deaths every year, and 330,000 accidents that result in moderate or severe injuries.
Yet Americans have largely ignored that research. Instead, they increasingly use phones, navigation devices and even laptops to turn their cars into mobile offices, chat rooms and entertainment centers, making roads more dangerous.”

We’ve previously posted about the increasing trend of states enacting laws against cellphone use and texting while driving along with a chart of state laws banning cellphones and texting while driving.