Pokémon Go is a combination of classic Pokémon themes and characters combined with geocaching, augmented reality, and social themes. Players utilize smartphone/GPS technology, travelling to different geographic locations in order to capture Pokémon and battle them in a virtual environment. There are positive aspects to this game. It requires players to explore the community by travelling to different places, usually by walking, which in turn, promotes physical exercise. There is also a social aspect which is a big component of the game.
The Richmond RCMP is offering a few tips to safely enjoy this game and minimize the risk of harm to players and public alike.
- Be mindful of your surroundings and always be safety conscious
- Be respectful of the property of others
- Be mindful of the volume of your group interactions, especially at night
- Be aware that not everyone shares your enthusiasm for Pokémon or comprehends the game. It may appear strange or suspicious to others not familiar with the game.
Our main safety concerns include:
- Distracted behaviours including driving and walking
- Potentially serious or fatal injuries when players are not mindful of their surroundings – this can include walking into ditches, off docks, falling off structures,or walking into other pedestrians, cyclists, traffic
- Damage to property
- Searching for Pokémon, PokéStops, or Pokémon Gyms alone during evening hours. We recommend being accompanied by another party for added safety.
- Playing in areas at night with poor lighting or in conditions with poor visibility (fog, rain, etc.)
“We are most concerned with the safety of potential players. This type of gaming is novel and its early adoption is rather unprecedented. It can be very easy to get so caught up in something and ignore safety entirely. We really wish to get the safety message out as early as possible,” says Corporal Dennis Hwang.
“We are also very concerned about the deployment of valuable police resources. When we are dispatched to calls involving groups of individuals, officer safety is paramount. Typically we would deploy multiple officers to investigate. We do not wish to be spoilsports, as many of our officers enjoy gaming too, but we want to make sure that our resources are not tied up investigating Pokémon players or gatherings, especially when our assistance can be wisely allocated elsewhere. Hopefully, our tips will help. Pika Pika!“