Well, that escalated quickly. Just a day after Pokémon GO launched on iOS, it is already topping the free app charts. It is currently available only in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, though it is expected to hit the UK soon.
The augmented reality game works by encouraging players to go looking for things in the real world, which is not without its hazards. Australian police have to warn players not to get too carried away while trying to catch a Sandshrew …
One of the locations you can find one is Darwin Police Station in northern Australia, and police officers there have apparently noted a couple of problems with the hunt. First, users are so intent on staring at their screens, they are crossing the road without looking for traffic. And they are then entering the police station building in their pursuit, something that isn’t actually necessary.
The Verge notes that the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services has now placed an warning on its Facebook page.
For those budding Pokemon Trainers out there using Pokemon Go — whilst the Darwin Police Station may feature as a Pokestop, please be advised that you don’t actually have to step inside in order to gain the pokeballs.
It’s also a good idea to look up, away from your phone and both ways before crossing the street. That Sandshrew isn’t going anywhere fast.
Stay safe and catch ’em all!
Traffic isn’t the only danger faced by players: wallets can also be endangered by the in-app purchases, the most expensive of which is an eye-watering $99.99!