Safety Tips for Pokémon GO
Part of the novelty of the Pokémon Go craze is that it allows players to enter a virtual world beyond the boring old neighborhoods and streets we’re all used to. However, it’s important that players keep at least one foot in the physical world as well. Although Pokémon Go has been rightfully credited with getting people back out in the world and helping to foster a sense of community across local populations, the game has caused some significant safety concerns that players should be aware of.
Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind the next time you play Pokémon Go.
- Don’t drive and play: You know the warnings about texting and driving? This also applies to texting and playing Pokémon Go. If you must play while on the road, pull over first. There’s even been a case where a driver in the middle of playing drove straight into a parked police car.
- Don’t walk and play: As silly as that may seem, when it comes time to catch that Pokémon character, stop what you’re doing before focusing on your screen. There have actually been incidents of bicycle crashes, pedestrian collisions, and even people walking straight into trees. Remember, the app has a feature where the phone vibrates when a character appears near players. When you feel the vibration, stop and move to a safe area before looking at your smartphone.
- Pay attention to the location of Pokestops and gyms: There have been several instances of tech-savvy thieves luring unsuspecting players into remote areas and then robbing them. Common sense is always required when playing this game, and it’s important to never get so absorbed in the game that you stop paying attention to your surroundings. Stay off private property and out of areas (like dark alleys and shadowy places) that you would not enter if you weren’t playing the game.
- Play in pairs or groups of people: This is especially important for young players. Just like on the Internet where personal information should never be shared with strangers one meets online, so too should kids be wary of strangers and protect personal information when out playing Pokémon. Playing with friends is more fun anyway and can help ensure safety.
Above all, stay vigilant as you play. By paying attention to what’s going on around you and avoiding being distracted to the point where you accidently walk out into traffic, you can both have fun and be safe.