In a Short Time Fun Virtual Reality Game Pokémon GO Reveals a Lot of Risks

Pokémon GO is definitely a fun and interesting game, but it also has some remarkable hazards and dangers associated with the ability to put players in dangerous spots or place players in vulnerable positions where robbers or other offenders may also be located. In a short time, there have been reports of robberies while players were confronted by offenders. Bad actors are able to wait at a PokeStop for unsuspecting victims. There have been several news reports of people injured from distraction-related accidents in the short time since the virtual reality game was introduced last Tuesday.

The augmented reality game is played through a free app that players can download to their smartphones. Pokémon GO uses GPS technology to pinpoint real-world locations where players can find and catch Pokemon, that appears on the smartphone’s display with a virtuality image.

When players get near a Pokémon, their phone alerts them by vibrating and eventually a Pokémon appears on the screen. Players can catch the Pokemon by aiming their phone at the creature and swiping the touch screen to throw a Poke Ball at the Pokémon. The game also encourages players to go to PokeStops, where they can get Poke Balls and other supplies. PokeStops are at landmarks and other interesting places.

Here are safety tips aggregated from a variety of sources …

Parents should accompany children — especially younger children — to make sure the children are safe.

Be cautious when going to “lure” sites and don’t go alone. You never know who might have set it up. Armed robbers that want your cell phone can set up the lure site, and wait for victims.

Hunt with a buddy or a group, especially if you’re doing it at night. But beware that some robbers have showed up armed with guns and taken victims’ cell phones.

Put the phone down when crossing the street or walking in a crowd. In other words, don’t stare at the screen while walking or riding your bike.

Do not play while driving a vehicle. Use a designated driver.

If you don’t know if a location is public, skip the location.

On a friendly neighbor’s property, ask for permission from the friendly neighbor before going onto the property. It is not safe to enter a stranger’s property.

Do not go into public parks or cemeteries at night because it is illegal and you could get charged with trespassing.

Stay away from dangerous spots like railroad tracks, power stations, industrial areas and places with water features without safety precautions.

Parents should set limitations on where and when their children can play and make sure they are aware of potential dangers.

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