Pokémon GO, the wildly popular mobile game recently released for Android and iOS, has already caused quite a few mishaps due to players being unaware of their surroundings. The latest incident occurred on Thursday evening when two Canadian teenagers unknowingly crossed into the U.S. while playing Pokémon GO. The teens, who entered the country illegally, were detained by the U.S. Border Patrol shortly after crossing the border.
Border Patrol agents picked up the teens in Montana, near the town of Sweet Grass, after they had crossed the border from Alberta, Canada. Before long, the agents concluded that the incident was unintentional, and was a result of the teens being unaware of the fact that they had entered the U.S., while distracted by the game. After determining that the illegal crossing was an accident, the Border Patrol agents got in contact with their mother and turned them over to her custody soon after. ABC News reports that, according to the U.S. Border Patrol’s public affairs officer, Michael Rappoid, “Both juveniles were so captivated by their Pokémon Go games that they lost track of where they were," and that "They crossed the international border inadvertently, but agents were able to reunite them with their mother.”
Pokémon GO is a location-based game that uses the player’s GPS to locate Pokémon on a map in real-world locations and then uses their smartphones camera to overlay the creatures on the screen with augmented reality. The unique play style is one of the reasons the game has become so popular, but it also creates some new problems from time to time, particularly when players become so absorbed in it that they become unaware of what is going on around them. Despite a disclaimer at the start of the game that asks players to be aware of their surroundings while playing Pokémon GO, there have been a number of incidents involving players being so consumed by the game that they have disregarded their own personal safety. There have been reports, for example, of armed robbers using the game to target players and even an unfortunate incident in which two players fell off of a cliff while playing the game. This latest incident reinforces the point that it is important to put safety first, and make sure to check your surroundings while playing.