Since its release date, the app Pokémon Go has had everyone wanting to "catch them all." The app now has over 9 million active users and has surpassed most other popular social media apps. If you haven't gotten a chance to see how the game works, in simple terms, Pokémon Go is a game that uses augmented reality and your phone's GPS to guide you around the real world. It alerts you when a Pokémon is nearby, encouraging you try to "catch" it using the game's interface. However, there are some risks involved when playing this engaging game.
Don't Play and Drive
First, don't play and drive. This may seem obvious to some, but playing a game on a phone while driving is extremely distracting. Distracted driving, which can greatly increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash, contributes to 16% of fatal crashes and leads to around 5,000 deaths each year, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Similarly, don't stop traffic while playing the game, even if you are on foot.
Stay aware of your surroundings and avoid playing at night. Playing the game with someone else or a group of people is also recommended. Don't go anywhere you wouldn't normally feel safe just to catch a Pokémon and definitely do not trespass.
Be Respectful and Courteous
Although many monuments and memorials have Pokéstops and may have rare Pokémon near them, respect that the space is reserved for recognition and reflection. Be courteous to those around you, and please do not bother or interrupt someone who is using a space for its intended purpose.
Lastly, ensure you are prepared when setting out to play the game. It is summer, so if you intend on walking farther than a short stroll, the sun and heat may start to have affects on your body. Be prepared with water and sunscreen. In addition, plan out where you want to go before leaving, so you know how long it will take and look for places where you can take a break to get some rest.
Even though Pokémon Go is a videogame, it still involves actual physical activity. So you should treat it like physical activity! Be aware of your surroundings, stay hydrated, and don't overdo it.
By posting on the Dialogue Online blog, I understand and agree that my comments will be reviewed and may be removed if they are libelous or otherwise illegal, or contain abusive, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate material. Please do not share personal health or financial information on the blog. I also understand that my comments will be available for view by the public and may be copied, stored, reproduced or disclosed by a third party for any use. For more information, please review the Doylestown Hospital's commenting guidelines.