Why Pokémon Go is a safety no-no

Pokemon could be anywhere - even on MBW's bike!

The 1990s computer game Pokémon (pocket monster) is back, but this time it’s in the real world and it could cause mayhem for motorcycle riders as distracted walkers step out in front of them.

Already there are reports of people blindly walking out on the road causing accidents while following their phone to catch Pokémon characters.

This could be the one rare occasion where loud pipes really could actually save lives!

Thankfully the game, which uses your smartphone GPS, will not work if you are travelling faster than walking pace, so drivers won’t be able to use it.

However, distracted pedestrians can be just as much of a road hazard, particularly around schools, parks and shopping centres where most of these Pokémon characters are located.

For those who don’t know how it works, the new Pokémon game doesn’t use a portable Nintendo. It’s now called Pokémon Go and it is a free download on any Apple or Android phone.

Pokemon characters can even surface when you are being booked!
Pokemon characters can even surface when you are being booked!

It launched on July 6 and has already surpassed the use of Facebook, adding $US7.5 billion to Nintendo’s value.

In the original game, players caught monsters on the screen. This time the pocket monsters are in the real world via your phone’s camera.

So players wander around trying to find the characters and catch them. And they can be located anywhere!Pokemon could be anywhere - even on MBW's bike!

Nintendo will make its money by players buying items to lure the characters to various locations. It is presumed shops will do this to lure customers, so be particularly cautious around shops.

It will make even more money when its Pokémon Go Plus launches soon at $34.99 each. It’s a Bluetooth device that allows the player to play without looking at their phone.

When they are near a character, it will vibrate and they can press a button to catch it and then check what they’ve got later on their phone.

Perhaps that will make the game a little safer for riders.

4 Comments

  1. As the owner of two teenagers I have first hand experience with this game and I can tell you it is going to change the world! It’s the first successful commercial use of Augmented Reality (the technical term) and it is the future of marketing.

    But about the game? It’s basically a scavenger hunt and scavenger hunts are heaps of fun, but this game requires a LOT of walking. The main point is that you can’t play it at home – you have to get out and start walking, so its brilliant at getting the kids out of the house. For this reason alone I think the game is great. Kids that are hard to motivate to exercise are suddenly walking 10km a day!

    You have to walk to the nearest “pokestop” to pick up supplies, walk around looking for pokemon because the game doesn’t give directions to them, then walk to “gyms’ to train your pokemon. If you find an egg they don’t hatch until you have walked at least 2km (for common Pokemon) and up to 10km for rarer ones (and no you can’t drive around).

    And as for “get on a bike and go for a ride instead” – my daughter came with me on an all day ride yesterday and was very excited at all the new pokemon she caught whenever we stopped for a break (different types of pokemon are more common in different types are territory – water pokemon near water for example). So the game blended perfectly with going for a ride.

    1. That’s great for you and your children. I hope you remind them to look both ways before crossing even a driveway though.
      As for adults who play the game including one barista who allegedly quit his job to play the game I reiterate get a bike!

  2. OMG, I can just imagine me running around with my mobile trying to find something that isn’t there…..NOT! After this thought I think I will just go out to the shed, wheel my bike out and go for a ride….a long ride. And if someone chasing a Pokémon figure gets in my way, I will try to avoid them (maybe).

  3. People without a life should get a bike so they can have a real one, instead of chasing a virtual character so the can have a virtual one!

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