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Pokemon Go Leads to Reckless Driving, Injuries, and A Corpse (chicagotribune.com) 130

Since its release Wednesday night, Pokemon Go has already gone on to become the top-grossing game in the three countries where it's available, and Forbes contributor Tero Kuittinen calls it "the first example of an AR product becoming a national obsession." An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: Some fans are now tweeting about playing the game while driving, and the Chicago Tribune quotes one user who says "Pokemon Go put me in the ER last night... Not even 30 minutes after the release...I slipped and fell down a ditch." In Australia the game has been leading some players to their local police station, and a woman in Wyoming reports that the game actually led her to a dead body floating in a river. And at least one Pokemon Go screenshot has gone viral. It shows a man capturing a Pokemon while his wife gives birth.
The app's popularity has created lagging servers and forced Niantic to delay its international roll-out, meaning "Those who have already downloaded the game in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand can still play it, while those in the U.K., the Netherlands and other countries will have to wait." Meanwhile, Motherboard warns that a malicious sideloaded version of Pokemon Go is being distributed that actually installs a backdoor on Android devices, and also reports that some players are already spoofing their GPS coordinates in order to catch Pokemon without leaving their house.
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Pokemon Go Leads to Reckless Driving, Injuries, and A Corpse

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 10, 2016 @07:40AM (#52482119)

    Once everyone remembers that physical activity and going outside are exactly the things they're trying to get away from by playing video games, people will get sick of this.

    All that's left is to predict the total body count.

    • I'm thinking about the same. We've had Ingress for a few years now. It was pretty popular when it first came out, and then died off. Niantic are stupid for not doing a global release. The hype train is going to be gone before the rest of the world gets it.
    • I doubt that, Niantic Lab's previous game (Ingress) has been going strong with lots of players for several years. Its the same concept, wander around outside gathering imaginary items with your phone. Guess there's a market for walking around with your phone.
    • by xonen ( 774419 )

      As an ingress player, I couldn't disagree with you more.

      Having said that, I took a quick look at pokemon and although interesting, it's surely not my game. There are similarities to ingress, but it's also targeted at a very different audience. Another drawback I saw was their pricing scheme, they seem mostly interested in you dollars, whereas ingress is totally free to play, with only a few 'gimmicks' sold for the die-hard players, and surely will not drain your wallet till the max.

      On-topic - ingress has pu

    • idk man, Ingress has survived 3 whole years so far and is still doing pretty well.... I mean, it probably depends on where you live of course.

      I don't see Pokemon Go dying out quickly at all.

  • Most of these people are adults. Don't they have anything better to do?

    Sadly, no. No they don't. They'd love a job, though. Your dad hiring?

    • by xvan ( 2935999 )
      On my (small) company there are 3 (non casual) ingress players.
      all of them married, 2 of them with child’s.

      Of course, you'd like to punch them in the face, when they walk next to you with they eyes stuck on the screen and suddenly turn around and change directions, but there must be something in the game for such a heavy time / money investment. ( seems like you need last generation phones to enjoy the game).

      I'd say that on my nerdimeter the worst of them scores a 7.50 out of 10.
  • Anyone have specs for niantic servers or hardware? Usually game companies just farm this out to saas or pass like softlayer and pay no real price when a cluster of shared vps shit the bed from exhaustive jvm load. I wouldn't be surprised of GO servers were java.
  • some players are already spoofing their GPS coordinates in order to catch Pokemon without leaving their house.

    Why go outside and explore your environment when you can sit on your fat, artery-clogged ass and do nothing? Every day wall-E becomes more reality than fiction.
    • by xvan ( 2935999 )
      To be able to spoof I needed to:

      1) root the phone.
      3) flash a custom recovery.
      2) install xposed via a custom recovery.
      3) install mock mock gps xposed module to fool Niantic's mock gps detection.
      4) Install a gps spoof app.
      5) Enable the gps spoof app via Android developer tools.

      That is too much work to put everything together for a lazy American, fat or not.

      I did it because I wanted to test the game and it wasn't released on my country yet. I got bored really fast.
      But developing a farming bot for t
  • Should I feel bad for taking my 8 YO out to play it? Waited several hours to sign up, then it let me in. This thing is going to result in lots of police calls with people snooping around at night. Dead batteries and dropped phones too. Who decided what landmarks get in the database?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Who decided what landmarks get in the database?

      Niantic also runs the augmented reality game "Ingress", where players submit landmarks to be used as "portals" in the game. My guess is they reuse that information for Pokemon Go. In Ingress, cemeteries are popular portal locations due to the high density of artistic monuments, resulting in lots of in-game progress with little moving around. If Niantic didn't filter those for Pokemon Go, it could become a bit of a Goth game.

      • by rfengr ( 910026 )
        First one went to was on a school ground, which is in the list of no-submits.
    • by codepigeon ( 1202896 ) on Sunday July 10, 2016 @10:09AM (#52482599)
      The "landmarks" come from a game called Ingress. It was the precursor to pokemon go.

      In that game users could submit ideas for the spots that would become portals(now pokemon stops). They are supposed to be places of interest, sculptures, murials, historic or interesting buildings. I'm proud (or sad) to say that many of the spots in my area were submitted by me a couple years ago. :)
  • And these are the grownups. Still playing Pokemon. How about a reverse age restriction? You can't be old enough to drive to play this game... or just let augmented natural selection run its course.
  • by rasmusbr ( 2186518 ) on Sunday July 10, 2016 @08:35AM (#52482287)

    This is admittedly interesting news, but what I'm really dying to know is what Kim Kardashian has to say about Pokemon Go.

    I'd also like to know more about the top 10 weirdest things that have happened to people while playing Pokemon Go and how to easily make hundreds of dollars a week by playing Pokemon Go.

    • Betcha she only travels East and South since she's already found everything in the North and West.
  • What a pity (Score:2, Funny)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 )
    Pokemon Go, and the weird obsession with it, is a pretty good example of what happens when you put technology in the hands of people not equipped to handle it. The guy that broke his ankle is going to be a typical result.

    I'd strongly suggest that people not trespass in the deep south of the US, as you can be legally shot and killed for that.

    I'm also expecting the first of many lawsuits any day now, as users fall in ditches and rivers, and wander onto interstate Highways.

    These are millenials, folks -

  • by burni2 ( 1643061 ) on Sunday July 10, 2016 @09:13AM (#52482411)

    There is only one solution for XXX = "I myself".
    If Pokemon can get one into the ER and one is not just an undiagnosed case of epilepsy than oneself is responsible.

    What is it with the people? Did nobody do OHSAS for your everyday life?

    Only on the job you have people thinking for you.
    And reminding you about the previously unkown hazzard, slippery when wet?

    Don't drill into a generator?

    When grinding use protective googles?

    When loud use ear plugs?

    Don't let idiots handle guns?

    Sometimes I think we need Darwinism 4.0-beta3, natural selection by degree of situation awareness.

    Thank you Pokemon you got rid of at least some people,
    sadly the safety standard in todays cars is too high and people survive their dumbness and even Pokemon!

    Yes, this was a rant!

    • Surely Darwinism = "Pokemon Go" + "Tesla Autopilot"
  • My son (mid 20's) was out around midnight the other night wandering around our development, playing Pokemon Go. He noticed a big dog wandering around near him, and then looked up to see a telephone pole with a "lost dog" poster that matched the dog he was looking at. He called the number on the sign, and the owners came to collect the dog.

  • Playing while driving, injuries, dead bodies, people blocking emergency services buildings... yup, that's how I remember Ingress. The only difference I can see is that the Pokemon game lore is comprehensible.

  • Sounds like a fusion of Pokemon and Ingress.

    Anyone know if the Ingress developers are getting royalties on this?
  • ... that should be grounds for your insurance company to jack up your rates when you come up for renewal.

    Same goes for doing anything else reckless while driving, like watching a movie (obviously excluding guys who self-nominate for the Darwin Award, like this guy [usatoday.com]).

    Of course, if you play while driving and don't brag about it, your insurance company will never know. But that's the "real" idea here: We don't want to encourage others to drive unsafely, and when you brag about driving unsafely, it tends to en

  • I remember the time when animations about Pokemon let to child mortality. Hundreds of children jumped out of a window or roofs. The history repeats itself. Do we really need in such entertainment?

You see but you do not observe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"