The gameplay of Pokemon Go primarily revolves around players wandering around places, catching Pokemon, visiting PokeStops, and challenging or training in Gyms. The players’ avatars will only move in-game if they move around in real life, too. So players who were looking to simply stay indoors won’t get anything out of the game. Pokemon Go, however, requires players to pay close attention to their devices most of the time, especially when hunting for Pokemon, which causes their awareness to plummet to zombie levels. There are a lot of funny, weird, and dangerous incidents that have happened to Pokemon Go players in their pursuit to become the very best. Let’s take a look at some of them.
(Note: Images not actual photos of incidents.)
Someone unknowingly racked up his internet bill in epic fashion
Let’s start the list on a light note, because the next few ones are a bit on the dark side. The 2016 Rio Olympics is where different sports converge into a single event to determine the best athletes in the world. Apparently, for Japanese Olympic gymnast Kohei Uchimura, the quest for gold medals is not enough to stop his quest of becoming the very best in Pokemon Go. Together with his athletic talents, Uchimura also packed his Pokemon Go game to Brazil. His excursions abroad, however, put a large dent on his monthly internet bill – a $5000 dent to be precise. That’s what happens when you forget that traveling to another continent changes your rate from local to international. Fortunately for Uchimura, his service provider understood his situation and switched his rate to a much friendlier one, instantly lowering his bill.
Two men plunged off a freaking cliff (seriously)
In Encinitas, San Diego, California, two men plunged off a cliff while playing Pokemon Go. One man fell 50 feet down the cliff while the other one was not so lucky – he fell 80-90 feet all the way down to the beach. Ouch. Both incidents happened on the same day, on the same cliff. Luckily, both survived their fall, escaping with a few injuries to nurse. Upon questioning from the authorities, the man who fell to the sands admitted that he and the other man were indeed playing Pokemon Go – at least he didn’t try to make flimsy excuses, like they were trying out cliff diving or picking flowers. Most likely, the two men were following the tracks of a rare Pokemon – maybe a Dragonite hovering near the cliff – when they involuntarily made their, uh, leaps of faith.
A woman came across a dead body
19-year-old Shayla Wiggins was simply out to catch some Water-type Pokemon near the Wind River in Riverton, Wyoming, but what she found was something the CSI team usually gets their grubby hands on: a dead body. That’s right. A dead human body belonging to a man. Shayla said that she was “walking towards the bridge along the shore when [she] saw something in the water”. When she realized it was a body, Shayla didn’t know what to do at first, according to her, but was eventually able to call 911 for help. According to detectives, the body may have been in the water for less than 24 hours when Shayla found it. The exact nature of the man’s death is still uncertain. But one thing’s for certain, though: Shayla won’t be getting near the river again anytime soon. It’s not every day someone tries to hunt a Gyarados and finds a dead body instead.
People are using the game to rob players
Apparently, Pokemon Go’s lures feature, which summons more Pokemon in a specific PokeStop, is being used by criminals to similarly lure players and then proceed to rob them. That was the case in Missouri, when the police received a robbery report in the wee hours of the morning. The call led to the capture of four young locals – some of them underage – that used the game to rob unsuspecting victims who were out to answer the call of Pokemon thanks to the lures. On a related note, there have been reports in London where players are being robbed of their precious smartphones at gunpoint. One of the more annoying aspects of Pokemon Go is the requirement for players to spend most of their time glued on their devices, which causes them to not be mindful of their surroundings, including shady people.
A teen girl got hit by a car while playing
In Tarentum, Pennsylvania, a 15-year-old girl was hit by car on a highway shortly after she finished playing Pokemon Go and was on her way back home. Autumn Diesroth, a high school student, was just 30 minutes into her first foray in the game when the accident happened. According to her mother, Tracy Nolan, Autumn borrowed her phone to play the game and less than an hour later, received a call that detailed her daughter’s accident. Nolan subsequently issued out a warning to fellow parents to not allow their kids to play the game because “you don’t want to go through what I went through”. The incident happened at around 5:20 PM, which Nolan noted as rush hour. Thankfully, her daughter survived to tell the tale.
Someone drove into a tree
In a rather less grave case of someone hitting something, a man in Auburn, New York drove into a tree while trying to catch a Pokemon, which may give birth to an offense called “Driving Under the Influence of Pokemon Go” or “DUIPG”. At around 10:44 PM, the man became distracted in his game and caused his car to swerve off the roadway and into the waiting trunk of a poor tree. Both the man and the tree did not die from the accident, but the car’s front end is another story. Pokemon Go allows players to catch Pokemon while on the move, as long as they were able to engage them in the first place, which may be just what the man was doing.
There are other incidents that have happened to people playing Pokemon Go, such as a man who got caught cheating on his girlfriend or the Marines who caught a murder suspect in a park. And frankly speaking, there may be more on the way. After all, Pokemon Go is barely a month old, so anything can happen in the ensuing months. Aside from the Olympic athlete’s mishap and the girl who found a dead body, the incidents have mostly been confined to people not paying attention to their surroundings. Pokemon Go does remind people to be careful when playing, but such words can only do so much.