A 67-year old man in Singapore died from a severe heart attack on February 26 while playing the wildly popular augmented reality game, Pokemon GO. A senior citizen and a Pokemon GO aficionado, Mr. Liang Weiming had reportedly managed to add a couple of new pocket monsters to his collection moments before suffering the massive stroke at the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) area of the island nation. Mr. Weiming had gone to MBS that afternoon in search of Pokemon, according to his 66-year old wife. While one of his newly-captured critters was a second-generation monster called ‘Granbull’, the other was an extremely rare monster called ‘Lapras’. Reports in the Singaporean media suggest that having suffered the heart attack, he was transferred to the nearby Singapore General Hospital (SGH), where he unfortunately passed away later that day.
According to his grieving wife, Mr. Weiming had a history of heart ailment, but that did not apparently stop him from chasing pocket monsters around the South East Asian city-state. On the fateful day, the entire family had reportedly just celebrated the birthday of a relative before he left his home in his quest for more Pokemon. He was an expert at Pokemon GO and had a Level 28 rating, having already captured over 200 pocket monsters since the game was released in the country last year. While the doctors who treated him couldn't say for certain what triggered the fatal heart attack, sections of the media in Singapore seems to be speculating that the tragedy was triggered by the excitement of catching the rare Pokemon, 'Lapras'.
Whether or not that is the case, this is certainly not the first tragedy associated with Pokemon GO one way or another. Ever since the game was released last year by Niantic Labs, the media has reported several stories about real-life mishaps and tragedies linked to the game, with people reportedly getting shot, stabbed and robbed while playing the game. Some people have also reportedly fallen off rooftops and steep cliffs while chasing those tiny little critters. Having said that though, most of the people reported to have been affected until now were youngsters. While learning about older Pokemon GO players is certainly heartwarming, this is definitely not the way one would have wanted to be reminded that the game's appeal cuts across all age-groups.