Trespassing Concerns with Pokémon GO

The new Pokémon GO augmented reality game has become an overnight sensation and authorities are already noting issues with the game such as safety concerns and an increase in trespassing which can lead to arrests.

Technology based geocaching

Photo by: Eduardo Woo
Photo by: Eduardo Woo

Adults and teenagers alike are crazy about Pokémon GO, a game that utilizes some functions of a cell phone such as maps, location, and camera to allow players to search and capture different species of Pokémon characters while earning candies and stardust. While the new game has many benefits such as a wide targeted age range and encouraging physical activity, there are some dangers and concerns after only a week of the game being launched.

Careful where you “GO”

The game which became available last week as a free download to Android and iOS devices has already created safety and legal concerns. There have been reports of people getting injured while chasing Pokémon characters. Since the game involves getting closer to a character while keeping an eye on their location via the mobile app, players are walking around with their noses in their phones, oblivious to the dangers of their surroundings. There have been instances of people walking into traffic and even stepping off a cliff which leads authorities to fear for players’ safety. Beyond the danger that may come by playing the game, players also need to be wary of trespassing.

Trespassing on private property and night hunting

Photo by: Amadeusz Jasak

Within a week of the game’s launch, police departments across the country have begun receiving multiple complaints of players wandering into residents’ yards and on other private property. Players have also been spotted near businesses and parks after hours. Law enforcement officials are warning players that regardless of finding an ultra-rare Scyther in someone’s backyard or a public park at 2am, players need to think twice about trespassing to avoid criminal charges.

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