Pokémon Go players have kayaked to the middle of a lake, jumped down into scenic caves and walked around the outskirts of desolate ravines to catch Pokémon they otherwise might not have been able to. While local police departments across the country have no problem with people running around town and catching Pokémon, they are issuing statements asking players to act responsibly and stay away from dangerous areas and situations.
The National Safety Council released a statement yesterday alerting people to the fact that since the game launched last week, there have already been a number of "close calls" with major injuries from people playing the game without thinking twice about where they were going or what they were doing. In an effort to prevent serious accidents or incidents from occurring, the council urged players to make safety while playing their number one priority.
"The Council urges gamers to consider safety over their scores before a life is lost," the statement reads.
Other departments, like Vancouver's police force, said it was concerning to see large groups of players in a "zombie-like" state, wandering the city at all hours of the night. In a statement, Constable Brian Montague said players need to remember that they're still in the real world and they need to take in their surroundings. Being unaware of what's happening around you, he said, could lead to physical injury or dangerous situations.
"Other law enforcement agencies throughout the world have already reported accidents, injuries, and string of robberies where suspects have set up fake PokeSpots," Montague said.
"The Council urges gamers to consider safety over their scores"
It's a situation other police forces are becoming all too familiar with. Local police in the O'Fallon, Mo. department said they arrested four suspects who used Pokémon Go as a way to execute a string of armed robberies. The suspects would use the game to lure players in the St. Louis area in and then they would proceed to rob them. The department has since issued a statement asking players, especially those with young children, to be careful when sending out their personal locations.
"If you use this app (or other similar type apps) or have children that do we ask you to please use caution when alerting strangers of your future location," the statement reads.
Areas like heavily forested regions, large bodies of water, and hillsides are especially dangerous, police departments have warned, and it has been suggested that if players want to explore these regions they should be extra careful and should never venture out alone.
For those just starting to play or looking into playing for the first time, be sure to check out Polygon's in-depth guide for beginners.