It has been nearly two months since the release of “Pokémon
Go” and criticisms of the game continue to mount amid reports that
an elderly woman in Japan was struck and killed by a distracted driver.
Collisions and injuries due to Pokémon go are not isolated events
and a quick google search will turn up numerous accidents across the United
States. Organizations from the American Automobile Association (AAA) to
police departments nationwide have issued statements, warning the public
about the potential dangers of this new game. However, with an estimated
tens-of-millions of active players, it is likely that more accidents may occur.
What Makes Pokémon Go Dangerous?
Smartphone games are nothing new which leaves many people asking the question,
“What makes Pokémon Go so dangerous?” The short answer
is the game can completely envelop a person’s attention. When players
use the game in situations where their full attention is required, like
when driving, accidents can occur. However, to understand exactly why
so many injuries have resulted from gameplay, it is helpful to take a
look at how the game works.
There are two main elements which separate Pokémon Go from traditional
smartphone games. First, in order to control and move the in-game avatar,
players must physically move throughout the real world. The game uses
a smartphone’s GPS synched with google maps data to track a player’s
location. For example, when a player crosses the street in real life,
they also do so in the game. Secondly, the game is among the first to
popularize “augmented reality” as a core function of gameplay.
This feature, using a phone’s camera, transposes elements of gameplay
onto a user’s environment and surroundings.
The more a player moves, the more they are rewarded. When this game is
played as intended, while walking, there is minimal risk to the user.
It is when players attempt to shortcut the games reward system and play
while driving, that serious problems occur. To combat this issue, the
game’s developer, Niantic, has begun to implement numerous safeguards
and warnings to users. Upon each opening of the game, players must accept
a full-screen request acknowledging that they will not play while driving.
Additionally, if the GPS detects that a player is traveling too quickly,
several features of the game will stop working.
Have you been injured in an accident? Call (417) 313-1130
With the ever increasing publicity and safety precautions surrounding Pokémon
go, drivers who make the decision to play do so negligently and put the
security of others at risk. If you or someone you know has suffered injuries
due to the actions of a distracted driver, contact Johnson, Vorhees &
Martucci and tell us what happened. Our Joplin personal injury attorneys
possess more than a century of combined experience and can help you to
maximize your potential compensation.
Schedule a FREE consultation to speak with an attorney about your accident and legal options.