Fanboy Report

Pokémon Go! death toll continues to rise

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Image:VG 24/7

Pokémon is currently demonstrating that even all these years later, it still has the capacity to drive us into fits of hysteria. The current incarnation is Pokémon Go!, the mobile game where you use your phone to pretend you are finding and catching Pokemon out in the real world and so far it has been downloaded seventy-five million times.

And as you might expect from a game that requires you to wander around staring at your phone instead of where you are going, there have been some accidents resulting from people playing Pokémon Go! when they probably should have put their phone down for a second to focus on important stuff like, you know, driving their car safely.

For instance, in Baltimore, a man plowed into a police car while playing the game behind the wheel. He then stepped out of the car and informed police that, “That’s what I get for playing this dumb game.” Or you know, at least for trying to catch Pokémon when he was supposed to be driving.

Then, of course, there is the Austrailian man who crashed his car into a school while playing Pokémon Go!, proving that obsessing over mobile games to the detriment of public safety isn’t an exclusively American phenomenon.

And on the other side of the reckless driving equation are the numerous people who have been hit by cars while walking around with their nose touching their phone screens instead of looking both ways when crossing the street.

A girl in Florida was struck by a hit and run driver after crossing the street on her skateboard to find a rare Pokémon on the other side, though luckily she survived.

Another girl in New Zealand wasn’t quite as lucky when she was hit by a car while playing the app. She was struck while crossing the street without looking and was dragged more than one hundred feet by the car.

Then there are the tangential fatalities caused by the game, like the boy in Guatemala who wandered into a gang conflict and was shot while playing Pokémon.

At least that’s what some people are saying. There are other reports that he and his cousin were actually trying to break into someone’s house in pursuit of a Pokémon they believed to be inside and were shot by a fearful homeowner.

And speaking of death tangentially related to Pokémon Go!, we would be remiss not to mention the time a young woman in Wyoming was traumatized after following the trail of some Pokemon on the app led her to discover a rotting corpse in a nearby river. Which admittedly is a fairly run of the mill afternoon for someone who lives in Wyoming, where basically everything is trying to kill you, but still.

How long will we allow this new scourge to stalk our children, luring them to their doom with false promises of virtual Pikachu’s and Butterfrees? We were lucky to survive our first brush with this Japanese menace in the mid-90’s and now it looks like Pokémon has returned to finish the job it started all those years ago.

The time has come to move against Pokémon Go!. Let’s band together and storm Nintendo headquarters, and demand an end to the bloodshed…plus the app is telling me there is a Charizard inside and my friend just caught a Venasuar.

Wyatt is a writer and your friend. You can follow him on Twitter @WyattRedd.