There's a new craze spreading around the world quicker than a computer virus and it's called Pokémon GO. This game, which is still in the process of being released around the world, is a little difficult to explain but it revolves around capturing monsters by throwing Pokémon Balls at them. However, what makes this game a little different to many other games is that it uses augmented reality. In other words, the game superimposes these Pokémon over and above the world around us, as seen via the Nintendo gaming servers and through our smartphone's camera. The game, which has just been released has captured huge numbers of people and user numbers is already threatening to surpass that of Twitter.
Unfortunately, as with many new trends that are adopted by large numbers of people, there are a few sad stories. It has already been reported how some groups of people have deliberately targeted Pokémon GO players to rob them and how one individual crashed his car playing the game. The latest in unfortunate incidences involving Pokémon GO occurred in Encinitas, California, where two men are reported to have fallen off a cliff whilst trying to get to a Pokémon. One man fell approximately fifty feet onto a bluff part way up the cliff and the other fell up to ninety feet to the beach below. The man resting on the bluff was pulled up to the top of the cliff by firefighters using ropes and harnesses and both men were taken to the nearby La Jolla trauma center but the extent of their injuries has not been detailed, other than they are not believed to be serious.
One of Pokémon GO's most immersive features is that the game features real world places, such as Pokémon Gyms and Pokémon Stops, which are logical places for criminals to loiter with intent to rob players. However, despite the developer putting a large disclaimer and reminder for players to look out where they are going whilst playing the game, it seems that some people will always need one more reminder. It's fortunate that these two Pokémon GO players were not seriously hurt and they have both perhaps had a lucky escape, but the moral of the story is clear: look where you are going, even if you are hunting rare Pokémon.