Pokémon-GO, friend or foe? Research and reflections from participants on our Year 12 Summer School

Video games can make people out of touch with reality, making them a danger to themselves and others – is Pokémon-GO to blame? The massive augmented reality mobile game has over 65 million active players – some of which has had an extremely negative impact with their lives. So negative in fact, some lives have been lost.

It’s estimated that Pokémon GO players have caused up to $7.3bn (£5.4bn) in costs just 148 days after its release. And also caused a 5% increase in car accidents.

Distractions can kill

Daren Fentiman/Zuma/Eyevine

  • Since the launch of Pokémon GO, 18 lives have tragically been lost due to the game.
  • 58 injuries have occurred in relation to people playing the game.
  • 256 car accidents alone have happened due to being distracted by the game.
  • Injuries consist of amputations of legs, disputes, car crashes, and many more.http://pokemongodeathtracker.com/

After a total of 18 Pokémon Go deaths and a total of 58 injuries, is this App encouraging our children and teenagers to put themselves in danger?

Pokémon Go was contacted by the NSPCC, a child protection charity in the UK, as they were concerned about child safety issues around playing the game. Some common concerns include:

  1. The game can be used by paedophiles to look for lone children.
  2. There was a situation where children were being lured into a public bathroom in the middle of a desolate area. This was since reported.
  3. Children could get hurt crossing roads by themselves.
  4. There has been cases of Teenagers as well as adults who have been caught playing the game whilst driving.
  5. Pokémon’s appear 9in dangerous and private areas.
  6. Pokémon’s can appear on busy roads or near rail tracks or even in locations that require potentially dangerous climbing. Children are less good at assessing risk if they are motivated to catch a rare Pokémon.
  7. Children have snuck out of their homes at night in order to collect Pokémon’s.