Pokemon Go Will Get People Killed

If you have some geeky friends, you’ve probably heard all about about the recent launch of Pokemon Go. Basically, Pokemon Go is a mobile game that fulfills almost every 90’s kid dream — it gives them the chance to become a pokemon master, in a much more realistic way than the old Gameboy games.

In Pokemon Go, you walk around the streets with the game opened, staring at the map until a wild pokemon appears. Once it does, you throw pokeballs at him (No fight? What’s fun about that?) until you catch it. For higher levels there are also gyms and dividing into teams, but 90% of the gameplay is just walking around the streets looking for rare pokemons.

Now imagine spending all day playing this game, frustrated for only seeing Ratatas and Pidgeys, when suddenly, while you’re driving in a highway, a wild Mewtwo appears. Would you just ignore it an keep driving? Or would you try to catch it?

So far, aside from some fake articles, there is no real evidence that anybody died because of Pokemon Go. But seeing from my friends that the game is highly addictive, and drives their girlfriends nuts:

Thanks Dafna for sharing it

It makes me realize that if the players won’t be killed by their impatient girlfriends or wives, they’ll probably die because of car accidents. Playing Pokemon Go while driving is much worse than texting while driving. The game requires your full attention, such as fast responses by clicking on a wild pokemon that shows up in the map, extra accuracy while throwing a poke ball, or rapidly tapping the opponent when trying to conquer a gym.

At the very least, I believe Pokemon Go should be blocked while driving. Apparently the game already knows when you’re in a vehicle, as it doesn’t consider the km you’ve passed while driving for hatching eggs. But more than that — can the game make you more aware of your surroundings, so you won’t be hit by a car? Or die from dehydration after a long quest? Probably not.

Some redittors laugh that the people who will die will be an example of natural selection. I get the joke, it is kind of stupid to die by playing a game. But history shows some people already died for playing MMORPGs for too long, and Pokemon Go will probably take the numbers of people dead while playing a video-game to a whole different level.