The highly successful game is set in an augmented reality where trainers go explore their neighborhood to catch as many Pokemon as they can. This means getting off the couch and walking until you can successfully catch a little monster, and that means heading to real-world cemeteries, national monuments, shopping centers, restaurants, and churches.
A full 67% of cellphone owners find themselves checking their phones for messages and alerts even when they don’t notice their phone ringing, but when Pokemon Go is involved, it seems that trainers are throwing caution to the wind and not looking away from their game at all.
There are terrible things happening all over the world in hopes of catching them all. A Pokemon trainer in Australia was the victim of a hit and run. Two players were arrested after breaking into a zoo in Ohio and now face trespassing charges. A man fell to his death off a cliff in Southern California because he wasn’t watching where he was going.
Not only that, but a suspected robber lured players into specific Pokestop to target victims in Missouri. A man crashed his car into a police car while driving in Baltimore, and Florida cops even had to use their stun guns on players who resisted arrest.
Additionally, one angry woman in Toronto, Canada is under arrest for allegedly firing a pellet gun on players outside her home.
In Rochester, cemetery officials are unhappy with the players who’re interfering with sacred places. Canandaigua’s Woodlawn Cemetery has seen more visitors than ever casually jumping over tombstones, eyes glued to their phones. Trainers have even hopped the fence during after hours, and their cars have blocked the roads from relatives wishing to pay their respects.
Recently, players were searching for Pokemon while a burial was happening less than 50 yards away. Cemetery superintendent Doug Stone isn’t too happy, telling the Democrat and Chronicle “I’m all in favor of a game that gets people up and moving around, but not to the point where it’s disrespectful and disruptive.”
Globally, Pokestops have been found in places many consider to be disrespectful and inappropriate. This includes the memorial site Auschwitz Birkenau Concentration Camp in Poland, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C., and the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
The game has even turned fatal for others. Just this past week, an innocent player was shot down and killed while on the hunt late at night in a park in San Francisco.
While details are relatively unknown, 20-year-old Calvin Riley died from a fatal shot to his torso. The assailant has not yet been found.
Thaddeus Riley, Calvin’s cousin, was with him the night of the shooting and took to Facebook to question the intentions of the game creators. As reported on the San Francisco Examiner, he wrote ““I think they made this game for all the wrong intentions… Look at it this game has made people savages…Now because of the game, my little cuzzo is gone!!!! … We all love you cal. I’m so glad we got to visit with you. But still was not enough.”
Even though Pokemon creators, Niantic Inc., posts a warning for all trainers not to trespass whenever they open their app, many are calling into question whether the company should be liable for any deaths and injuries during the game.
Pokemon Go has even outraged some countries enough to ban the game completely. Iran has just announced that they are banning the game from use in their country, because of safety concerns.
Government officials did not go into specifics about why exactly the game was banned, except for saying ” “Any game that wants to operate nationwide in Iran needs to obtain permission from the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance, and the Pokémon Go app has not yet requested such a permission,” reported on USA Today.
Despite their loss of market in Iran, the game will be expanding to 15 new markets in Asia this month.
Even though it may be banned from some countries, and newly launched in others, Pokemon Go boasts a global revenue of $200 million in its first full month. This is an unheard of record for just one game, and to put it in perspective the worldwide revenue of mobile applications is around $35 billion.