Pokémon Go created a world of controversy when it was first released in 2017. Where, even to this day, video gamers young and old, still find themselves suffering from the curse of the app.
Many incidents occurred, including: car accidents, attacks, trespassing’s gone wrong or stints of pure bad luck. But this wasn’t enough to stop a new group of players from taking on the Pokémon challenge, fearlessly ignorant to the warnings that had previously come before.
With their green backpacks equipped, and smartphones held high into the air. It wasn’t long until they realized, that merely the most venturous could stand a chance of capturing them all.
Common sense was disregarded, and the laws or violations that stood in their way.
But now as the emergency list grows longer; they can look back in dismay.
10 Pokémon Go deaths and injuries
Say Goodbye Leg
Date: December, 2018
Was it just me who was taught to never play near trains or railways growing up as a kid? This gamer is going to need a stern talking to from his parents after the injuries he sustained.
A fit and healthy man from Salisbury, UK was reported to of tripped and fell on to the train tracks as his mind was pre-occupied with catching the enticing little critters.
He was rushed to hospital having suffered horrific third and fourth degree burns after being cooked by the electrified track when falling over.
The damage was so severe it had destroyed a focal nerve in the front of his knee leaving the man unable to move his right foot.
After two days of picking away at rotting flesh, surgeons finally made the decision to amputate above the knee, leaving the man with what could be described best as a ‘significant disability’.
Tag Teaming with Dad
Date: June, 2018
There’s no better way to bond with your wise old man than getting in a scuffle in a park over a Pokémon game.
Robert Matteuzzi, 71, and 30-year-old Angelo Matteuzzi were charged with third-degree assault after brutally attacking a man during a Pokémon hunt. You would think a seventy year old man was past this sort of thing but obviously not.
The victim was reported to of started the squabble by throwing a Gatorade bottle into the duo’s car after getting wound up by thinking they had stolen his virtual gym.
Robert then spotted the man again later, he threw the bottle back which smacked him in the face, and a fight erupting on the grass. Next her then held the man down as his son brutally punched him in the head repeatedly.
The pair then proceeded to throw the victim into the lake, and began submerging his head under water in an act to drown him. Fortunately the attack was stopped by a bystander before any further escalation could take place.
The victim suffered facial abrasions, a traumatic eye injury and a broken fingertip.
Cut down at 85
Date: April, 2018
Staying alive until your 85 years old is respectfully a massive accomplishment, somewhat like a grand tree refusing to be cut down, well.. That is until a Pokémon Go player forgets to hit the brakes.
It was reported that Yoshi Nagata from Nishio City, Japan was rushed to hospital after being hit by a car when she was trying to cross the road.
The female driver admitted she was playing Pokémon Go during the time of the incident, and was distracted when looking at a tracking feature on the game.
The poor old Grandma was thought to of made it just in time, but unfortunately died an hour and a half later from the injuries she sustained.
This was just one of many added to the countless tally of Pokémon ‘road’ related deaths and injuries.
A blinding eye
Date: May, 2017
Having an injury at a young age that results in such a serious disability is something that everybody dreads. For this young player luck was not on his side.
Like many of the accidents on the list, this one was caused by another distraction. It was reported that a 14 year old boy tripped and fell while playing Pokémon GO on his smart phone.
At first the optometrist didn’t think the injury was too bad, it was assumed the boy had just suffered a painful fracture near his eye after falling casually when playing outside. As two days had past the problem had become much more severe, it was revealed he had damaged his optic nerve becoming a very rare and unfortunate traumatic event.
The boy had completely lost sight in his left eye; once again highlighting the dangers of a mobile phone distraction!
Rare Pokémon shock
Date: March, 2017
The shock of finally capturing such a sort after Pokémon was just too much excitement for this local retiree to handle.
An experienced Level 28 Pokémon hunter, managed to hook a rare shiny Lapras before tragically suffering from a fatal heart attack.
The 67 year old man would often go scouting near the Marina sands bay area of Singapore, and had plans to celebrate a birthday party with family members just as soon as he had returned.
Unfortunately his time limit at life was due to end too soon, having caught over 200 Pokémon from the first and second generation, the man was well on his way to filling up his pokedex. He was rushed to hospital but sadly died shortly after.
Come back when you’re a member
Date: Jan, 2017
Deciding where you should hunt for your next Pokémon could well be as important as any other decision you will might have to make, or so it seems for this ill-fated Chinese player.
Jiansheng Chen, 60 often enjoyed going for a late night game before bed and would regularly pull up next to the River Walk clubhouse (a well-known local augmented gym in the area) around 11pm.
There was only one problem with this location. As Chen was busy sat minding his own business in his minivan, a security guard pulled up and confronted him about trespassing on the property after hours. Chen put the car in reverse and was shot 10 times in quick succession by the trigger happy guard.
Five of the bullets hit Chen in the upper arm and chest with the rest piercing the windscreen. He immediately died before he could be taken to a hospital.
Update: In March 2019, it was published that the security guard is now on his way to prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
Live on Twitch
Date: Sep, 2016
We’ve already witnessed some unnecessary accidents as players have diverted their attention to the game, however there should be nothing perilous about walking casually down a windy path with your phone out.
Blogger Rickey Yaneza had just started streaming a live Pokémon go recording on twitch when he was unexpectedly preyed upon and robbed from behind.
The incident was witnessed in surprise and disbelief for all his followers to see as the man snuck up behind him and violently sucker punched him in the head.
The thief made off with Yaneza’s phone along with some other possessions before fleeing in the other direction as the phone was still recording.
Fortunately the blogger only suffered minor injuries including a swollen jaw, a bump on his head and a scratched elbow after hitting the floor.
Watch out for Snakes!
Date: July, 2016
Violent attacks and muggings aren’t the only things you should be wary about when going for a leisurely stroll (catch) in the park, there might be other dangers lurking out there that you least expect.
Lane Smith had a nasty surprise while he was engrossed in his game in Flower Mound park, Texas and had thought to of stepped on a ‘stick’.
The 18 year old soon found out this stick was actually a venomous Copperhead snake which didn’t take kindly to being crushed by the teenagers giant flip flops. The snake counter attacked on his next move by biting Smith on his big toe leaving marks and a fang behind from the action.
The teenager was eventually transferred to a second hospital with improved facilities after his toe had initially shown signs of redness, indicating that at least a small amount of venom had penetrated the skin. Thankfully for him, Doctors determined no anti-venom was needed.
Help, I’m stuck!
Date: July, 2016
Another bizarre tale associated with the treasure hunt-style video game, this time we’re heading underground to catch some rock Pokémon.
A group of four teenagers packed up their gear and left to explore an underground network of tunnels ready to play the augmented game, unfortunately they had forgotten one thing, their escape ropes!
The tunnels in Boxfield Mines, Wiltshire, are said to cover an area of about 186 sq km with depths of up to 120ft and were described as ‘very intricate’ with lots of windings, different junctions and areas locked of by the Ministry of defence.
After panicking and finding no phone signal for numerous hours, the boys managed to find their way to an open-air part of the rock where they were miraculously able to call got help.
With the help of a keyholder, fire service and experts the boys successfully made it out of the caves with nothing more than ‘glum and embarrassed’ faces.
Source: Pokemon Go teens stuck in caves 100ft underground
Warning! Do not enter!
Date: July, 2016
What’s the most dangerous place you could choose to play Pokémon Go? In a quarry? Near the edge of a cliff? How about trespassing in a minefield.
In 2006 Bosnian citizens were urged to stop straying into dangerous territory after anti-landmine charity Posavina Bez Mina began hearing reports and issued a warning.
In Bosnia It has been estimated that around 120,000 mines still remain today that were planted during the 1995 war, at least 600 people have been killed since then due to the deadly devices.
Thankfully there was no reports of anyone getting blown up while playing Pokémon Go but we did find a few incidents of people falling off cliffs, click below to find out more!
Source: Pokemon Go: Bosnia players warned of minefields/ Two Men Fall Down Cliff While Playing 'Pokemon Go' – NBC 7 San Diego
How dangerous is Pokémon go?
The main safety concerns that arrive from playing Pokémon Go are mostly due to the dangerous situations that people put themselves in. There have been many incidents of players disregarding their surroundings while using the app that has led to putting the lives of themselves or others at risk of danger. Police have warned to take extra precautions regarding inattentive driving, trespassing, or becoming a target for criminals.
Can Pokémon Go kill you?
Pokémon Go cannot directly kill you, but using your mobile phone while disregarding your surroundings can. Analysts suggest that the mobile game may have contributed to nearly 150,000 traffic accidents, 256 deaths and economic costs of $2 billion to $7.3 billion in the first 148 days after its introduction to the US.
Is Pokémon Go Safe?
Yes, Pokémon Go is considered a safe game to play if the user abides to follow the common guidelines when playing the game. These guidelines include not playing when behind the wheel of a vehicle, respecting the local laws in the area you live in and avoiding any dangerous areas that might put yourself in a vulnerable situation.