Pokémon Go does not seem particularly dangerous – players catching cartoon characters via their smartphones. The geocaching game allows people to find and capture Pokémon characters at various, real-world locations. This augmented reality platform blends a digital world with the real world that we navigate daily while going about our lives. This means legal implications abound, for players and non-players alike.
Law enforcement agencies have reported that criminals are using the game to lure victims. Players have found themselves at Pokéstops that are in dark alleys and other, unfamiliar locations. The game alerts strangers to other players’ locations and thus people are targeted and unsuspectingly become victims of crimes such as robberies and worse. Parents are advised to check sex offender registries for areas where their children may be going while playing the game. Players may find themselves in otherwise unfortunate situations: a homeowner reportedly shot at two teens playing Pokémon Go mistakenly thinking they were thieves after hearing one of the teens say, “Did you get anything?”
Other reported incidents:
Police departments are advising players to pay attention where they walk and avoid driving while playing. This means the game can be a danger to all, whether playing the game or not. Highly distracted individuals are out in public playing the game with real-world implications. Non-players may find players trespassing on their private property or not paying attention as they step into the street. Pokémon Go may be involved in injury lawsuits to come and television commercials like this: “If you have been injured playing Pokémon Go or have been the subject of an injury by a Pokémon Go player, talk to a lawyer by calling the number on your screen.”