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Is the Pokémon Go obsession taking things too far?

What year is it again? It seems that everyone is going gaga over a Pokémon game like we’re back in the late 90s again – you know, back when Pokémon was all the rage on the Gameboy!

Last week, Nintendo released an augmented reality mobile game called Pokémon Go which allows players to capture, battle, train, and trade virtual Pokémon (short for Pocket Monster) in the real world.

In less than a week since it got launched in the U.S., everyone – especially those who grew up in the early Pokémon era – have been going nuts over this newly launched app / game!

The app is now competing with other social media apps like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as the most actively used app in terms of its daily active users, and according to Similar Web, the app was installed on more U.S. Android phones than even the Tinder app!

(Photo source: theverge.com)

Furthermore, the game has also become the top grossing app on the iPhone app store just days after its release in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

The game aims to encourage children or generally, people to go out more, instead of staying cooped up in their homes and also meet some new people who share the same interests, because in today’s world, people are more concerned about going online than actually going out.

Though the intention of the app is purely innocent, it may have led some players to experience some unwanted or misfortunate events, and let’s just says that it is not all fun and games with the app.

Here are some of the real unpleasant events encountered by users playing Pokémon Go that makes us think, do we really need to Catch ‘em all?

1. Minor accidents
(Photo source: eurogamer.net)
Many players wander around the real world looking for Pokémons while their eyes are glued to the screen of their phones, and this action has led some of them into minor accidents.
21-year-old Mike Schultz, a communications graduate from Long Island, New York, fell from his skateboard and cut his hand while hunting for Pokémons after hitting a big crack.
22-year-old freelance web designer Kyrie Tompkins fell on the side walk and twisted her ankle while wandering downtown Waterville, Maine at night while playing the game.
Lindsay Plunkett, a 23-year-old waitress in Asheville, North Carolina bruised her shin after she tripped over a cinder block that had been used as a doorstop while playing the game.

2. Send players to strangers’ homes
(Photo source: moviepilot.com)
In Pokémon Go, players get to visit a number of Pokéstops and Pokémon gyms which are typically located at popular meeting places, such as memorials, places of worship, parks and tourist attractions. But Boon Sheridan, a designer in Massachusetts who lives in a converted church discovered that his house has become a Pokémon Gym, and this causes players to gather around his house at all times. Meanwhile, a Darwin police station in Australia was featured as a Pokéstop, and players around the area were coming in to gather Pokéballs and go hunting inside the station.

3. Leading to a corpse discovery
(Photo source: kotaku.com.au)
Pokémon Go certainly will lead players to all sort of bizarre places, and some of them include toilet stalls, graveyards, church, and also strip clubs and sex shops. But what’s more shocking is that 19-year-old Shayla Wiggins from Riverton, Wyoming was hunting for “a Pokemon from a natural water resource”, AKA a water-type Pokémon but ended up discovering something way more disturbing – a dead body! “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…It was pretty shocking,” said Shayla as reported by County 10.

4. Used to target armed-robbery victims

Fans of Pokémon would surely remember the villainous Team Rocket from the game and anime who robs and steals other players’ Pokémons. But for this app, instead of robbing Pokémon, we seem to have our very own Team Rocket who robs people for real! In Missouri, four teens whose ages range from 16 to 18, are suspected to be behind 10 to 11 armed robberies in St. Louis and St. Charles counties in the last few days. According to O'Fallon Missouri Police Department, the suspects used a beacon to lure players to a certain location and then snatched all their valuables.

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