Gotta catch 'em all – gotta stay safe, too

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July 12, 2016 05:00 PM

Unless you’ve been living under a Charizard-sized rock for the past week, chances are you’ve heard of Pokémon Go, the nostalgia-filled game that has people trekking all over to “catch” characters that pop up on their phones based on where they are.

However, Pokémon Go isn’t all fun and games: here are just a few of the nightmare scenarios the game has caused – and how you can avoid becoming a horror story of your own in your quest to catch ’em all.

1. Someone found a dead body.
Over the weekend, Shayla Wiggins went for a morning walk, hoping to catch a few new Pokémon on her way. What she found instead was rather disturbing: a dead body in Wyoming’s Wind River. “I was trying to get a Pokémon from a natural water resource,” she told County10. “I was walking towards the bridge along the shore when I saw something in the water. I had to take a second look and I realized it was a body.” Wiggins, understandably, was “shocked” – but called the police. Can’t say we blame her: It’s not exactly what you want to find when you’re on the Poké-hunt.
Solution: Stay clear of dark alleys, depths of forests, and of course, rivers.

2. People are becoming victims of robbery.
Pokémon Go tracks your location – and some are using this feature for some not-so-great purposes. After responding to a robbery report, Missouri police said that they believe robbers are using the app’s location services – adding “beacons” to certain spots to make them more attractive to those seeking new Pokémon – to lure unknowing players to secluded spots, ripe for robbery.
Solution: Similar to avoiding dead bodies, only go after Pokémon in well-lit, populated areas.

3. Some are being led to some not-so-great places.
The whole point of Pokémon Go is that you have to go out in order to play the game. In theory, this is great. So many games we play on our phones keep us stationary, but Pokémon Go has us exploring the world. However, the game’s creators might want to rethink where they’re stashing the Pokémon: Users have reported being led to a strip club, cemeteries, private homes and even a Holocaust museum in pursuit of their prizes.
Solution: If the game is leading you in a questionable direction, just give up on adding that particular Pokémon. There are some places where you shouldn’t be trying to catch ’em all.

4. There have been all sorts of injuries.
From blistering sunburns to scraped-up knees, there’s no limit to the injuries Pokémon Go players are getting during game play. Lindsay Plunkett of Asheville, North Carolina, has a bruised shin after walking around in the rain, searching for Poké stops. Mike Schultz of Long Island, New York, has a cut on his hand after getting distracted on his skateboard, looking for Pokémon. Players, please proceed with caution.
Solution: Next time you’re about to make a risky run or jump in pursuit of a Pokémon, remember: It’s just a game, and certainly nothing to hurt yourself over.

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