Pokémon Go: Tales of Trespassing, Armed Robbery and More

How augmented reality is stirring up real-world problems

You would be hard pressed to avoid strange headlines this weekend regarding Nintendo’s latest video-game phenomenon, Pokémon Go.

The augmented reality game works by sending users into the real world in search of virtual Pokémon to capture; using public, and in some cases private, locations as Pokémon ‘gyms’ for players to fight and train in. As you can guess, this has resulted in some users finding themselves in hairy and often dangerous situations.

Pokéballs & Police Stations

Darwin Police in Australia were forced to issue a statement to local Pokémon trainers who were in search of a Sandshrew when the Pokémon showed up at police station on the game’s GPS. They reminded users that it’s not necessary to actually enter the station to catch the Pokémon, after several people ended up inside looking to capture the virtual beast.

If there’s anywhere you don’t want to trespass, it’s probably the police station. They posted this to Facebook:


Gotta Rob ‘Em All

Missouri Police responded to a report of armed robbers Sunday morning, who were using Pokémon Go to find unsuspecting victims in isolated locations. According to Motherboard, four robbers “were able to anticipate the location and level of seclusion of unwitting victims” by using the app’s geolocation feature, said Sergeant Bill Stringer of the O’Fallon Police Department. Eleven gamers aged 16-18 were robbed at gunpoint.

Stay alert people!


Keep Your Head Up

Ever since full screen cell phones, people are increasingly unaware of their surroundings. It’s not all that surprising to find reports of several injuries related to Pokémon GO. One Redditor didn’t get 30 minutes into the game before seriously hurting himself:

Not even 30 minutes after the release last night, I slipped and fell down a ditch. Fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in my foot, 6-8 weeks for recovery. I told all the doctors I was walking my dog lol… Watch where you’re going, folks!

Like he said.


C.S.I. Windriver: Pokémon GO

Shayla Wiggins, a Riverton Wyoming Pokémon trainer was disappointed Friday morning when, instead of discovering a water Pokémon like she intended to, discovered a body laying face down in the Wind River. After calling the police and alerting them to the dead body she told KCWY her quest wasn’t over yet, “Yeah, I might go get a water Pokémon. I’m going to try,” she said.

Good on you Shayla Wiggins, good on you.


Searching Far and Wide

Pokémon Go has lead many people into uncharted territory. Take Kelsey Thomson and Lizzy Eden, two determined New Zealand-based Pokémon trainers, who felt no journey was too far or too dangerous when it came to being the very best. When the pair spotted a gym in Wellington Harbour, they knew it was a necessary feat to accomplish, according to Mashable. Renting kayaks, they took the half hour journey to the center of the harbour to duke it out with the team Yellow gym. The good news: they made it back safe. The bad news: the opposing team had a boat; team Yellow still rules over the Wellington Harbour.


Image courtesy Pokemon Go