POKEMON GO WAS A THREAT TO PUBLIC SAFETY
We all remember last summer and the beginning of Pokémon Go. People ran around, desperately looking at their phones searching for Pokéstops. No one seemed to see where they were going. No one looked at their surroundings. Everyone looked at their phones, almost non-stop. And those were just pedestrians. Many people played the game while driving their cars! At first, we didn’t know what to make of all the weirdness. Now, a new study from Purdue University suggests that the game caused accidents, a LOT of accidents.
STUDY “DEATHS BY POKÉMON GO,” REVEALS DEADLY NUMBERS
We all quickly learned about this crazy new game, even if we hadn’t heard of it before. People playing the game appeared everywhere, behaving strangely. But now we also know that playing the game caused serious numbers of accidents. Purdue University’s study is aptly called “Death by Pokémon Go.” It’s available to read but hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed. The study compared accident rates at Pokéstops in Tippecanoe County, Indiana.
POKÉSTOPS CAUSED 26.5% MORE ACCIDENTS
The numbers are big. Accidents near Pokéstops rose by a whopping 26.5%. Tippecanoe County is a tiny sample size when compared to all the Pokéstops across the entire United States. The increase in accidents there represented half a million dollars in vehicle damage, 31 extra injuries and two more deaths than there would have been otherwise. It’s clear, Pokémon Go kills.
POKEMON GO STILL A DANGER?
Fortunately, Pokémon Go’s developer Niantic was responsive to the deaths associated with its game. Niantic initially used the same tactic as Waze, which requires users to declare that they aren’t driving. Niantic quickly realized that wasn’t enough, and made the game almost impossible to play in a moving car.
WILL NEW HARRY POTTER GAME KILL TOO?
The study’s authors made it clear these numbers aren’t certain, but they extrapolated what those numbers might mean nationally. The higher numbers from playing Pokémon Go nationally were 145,000 extra vehicle accidents, 29,000 more injuries and another whopping 250 fatalities.
issues may have been resolved to some degree. But the dangerous dynamic is a real concern. Niantic is currently making a Harry Potter themed game in Pokémon Go’s image. Let’s all hope we don’t all soon face Stupefied game-playing drivers!