Discover Pokemon in the real world with Pokemon GO!
IT has only been around for less than a week, yet millennials have been relentless in their attempts to catch ‘em all.
If that reference is lost on you, it is likely you are one of three people in the country not using the new augmented reality game Pokémon Go.
Released on Android and iOS last week, the game combines computer-generated images with the real world to offer an immersive experience for players.
Despite only being available in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the US, Pokémon Go has gained so much popularity it will soon boast more daily users than Twitter.
Crazy… #PokemonGO will soon have more daily users than Twitter. Hasn’t even been out for a week yet. pic.twitter.com/Yuxy4HNIaz
— PokemonGO (@PokemonGoMemes) July 10, 2016
Using the smartphone GPS, Pokémon Go has an in-game map reflecting locations in the real world, which have been tailored for certain purposes in the game.
From capturing a wild Pikachu in a park to visiting a local landmark to restock on PokéBalls, the game encourages people to explore their real-life neighbourhoods.
This format has received praise as it encourages players to be active, which will offer a plethora of health and fitness benefits.
However, the geolocation feature of the game also has some troubling components, with armed robbers using Pokémon Go to lure victims to an isolated trap over the weekend.
According to Sgt Bill Stringer, a total of 11 people in Missouri were lured to secluded areas where they were robbed at gunpoint.
“Using the geolocation feature, the robbers were able to anticipate the location and level of seclusion of unwitting victims,” he told The Guardian.
Mr Stringer suggested the criminals had deployed a beacon at a Pokéstop to target the unsuspecting victims.
“As far as we can tell you can put a Pokébeacon or something on [the app] and it attracts Pokémans [sic] and alerts other players to your location,” he told Motherboard.
“It’s a great app for getting people off the couch, but it can be used for nefarious reasons, also.”
Thankfully, law enforcement were able to apprehend the four suspects responsible
In addition to the string of robberies, the app has also been responsible for a number of other troubling events.
As players need to explore different geographical areas in order to catch different breeds of Pokémon, Shayla Wiggins decided to expand her search zone after successfully capturing 50 virtual animals around the city of Wyoming.
Hoping to add some water-based Pokémon to her Pokédex, she headed to the banks of a local river, where she made a gruesome discovery of a corpse lying face down in the water.
The 19-year-old immediately notified police and led them to the scene.
Despite being scared and shaken, Ms Wiggins is thankful Pokémon Go helped her discover the body of the man, who police are yet to identify.
“I probably would have never went down there if it weren’t for this game,” she told CNN Money.
“But in a way, I’m thankful. I feel like I helped find his body. He could have been there for days.”
Ms Wiggins also admitted the traumatic event has done very little to deter her from using the app and she will continue to try and catch ‘em all.
I can’t wear my cute shoes because I sustained a Pokémon related injury last night. 😕 #worthit
— jennifer laughran (@literaticat) July 10, 2016
While not as troubling as locating a dead body, a number of other players have also reported injuries as a result of playing the augmented reality game.
A reddit user claimed playing Pokémon Go resulted in a trip to a hospital emergency room.
“Not even 30 minutes after the release last night, I slipped and fell down a ditch. Fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in my foot, 6-8 weeks for recovery. I told all the doctors I was walking my dog lol … Watch where you’re going, folks,” they wrote.
Meanwhile, communications graduate in New York Mike Schults took a tumble from his skateboard while searching for Pokémon in a park.
The 21-year-old said he was looking through his phone when he stumbled and cut his hand on the pavement.
“I just wanted to be able to stop quickly if there were any Pokémons nearby to catch,” he told The Sun.
Waitress from North Carolina Lindsay Plunkett also fell victim to the game after tripping over a concrete block while playing, which left a nasty bruise on her shin.
Additionally, 22-year-old freelance web designer Kyrie Tompkins twister her ankle after the game notified her a Pokémon was nearby.
“It vibrated to let me know there was something nearby and I looked up and just fell in a hole,” she said.
While there have been a number of smaller accidents related to the app, a story doing the rounds suggesting a 26-year-old caused a massive car accident while stopping on the highway to capture Pikachu has been found to be fake.
Despite that story not being authentic, the risk of Pokémon Go causing an accident is very real, with a number of users sharing screenshots of them capturing Pokémon while driving.
I probably shouldn’t be playing PokemonGo while driving but it’s too addicting and I mean look at this #PokemonGO pic.twitter.com/wahpOystRr
— Daddy (@30frankl) July 7, 2016
The troubling trend has led to Police all around the globe issuing warnings about the behaviour.
To the Tennessee Highway Safety Office regarding your latest PSA ad. PERFECT! #ThankYou #PokemonGO pic.twitter.com/FjyZdmG0um
— Netstryke (@Netstryke) July 10, 2016
Have you been playing Pokémon Go? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter @mattydunn11