Gotta catch all the news stories!
Saying that Pokemon Go has been a success is like saying that Kanye West has a normal ego and Lady Gaga has a conservative fashion sense. This new GPS-based, 'augmented reality' game has people literally running all over the place in order to catch new Pokemon and gain new items. It's been madness. But the very nature of this game has many players going places and doing things they wouldn't normally do, and a lot of things that would never happen otherwise have happened in the week since the game's release.
Dead Body Found In A River While Playing Pokemon GO
Source: DeathAndTaxes Magazine
A young 19-year-old woman, Shayla Wiggins, playing Pokémon Go found herself near a river in Wyoming, searching for new Pokémon to capture. But instead of cute and fluffy digital creatures, she found a human corpse! Her search for Water-type Pokémon resulted in the discovery of the body of a man lying face-down in the water. It is unknown exactly how the victim died, but initial police statements suggest it was an accidental drowning in the river. Wiggins was shaken by the event but commented that if not for Pokémon Go it could have been days before anyone discovered the man.
They're Like Team Rocket, But With Guns
Source: Opelika-Auburn News
O’Fallon, Missouri (St. Louis area) saw Pokémon Go based crime when robbers began to use the game's features in order to lure victims to isolated locations. Pokémon Go features a “Lure” option that will attract wild Pokémon for a 30 minute period. The robbers set a Lure in an isolated spot and held up players attracted to the area at gunpoint. Police later arrested four suspects believed to be the perpetrators of the case. Interestingly, businesses have also begun to use the Lure function of the game in order to attract customers into their stores for some hopeful shopping.
Leave Your Respects, Not Empty Pokeballs
Some of the locations that have become PokeSpots (areas where players can collect items), or Gyms (places where players can battle one another), have become swarmed with players. Many of these locations are famous landmarks, but not all of them are places where officials want people to congregate for the sake of a video game. The Holocaust Museum released an advisory asking people to stop showing up just to catch Pokémon. It did not help that one of the Pokémon found in the building was Koffing, a Pokémon whose primary attack is releasing poisonous gas. This is still something of an ongoing issue.
Not the Kind of Gym People Usually Have in their Homes
Boon Sheridan lives inside an old church located in Massachusetts and started to get a lot of visitors when Pokémon Go was released, whether he wanted them to or not. The game marked his home as a Gym and players began to hang out on the street and even in his yard in order to access the in-game facility for battles. Luckily, Mr. Sheridan has been a good sport about the whole matter and began tweeting about his humorous take on the experience with comments like, “Woohoo! I met the owner of my gym. Nice guy."
Misty Would be Proud
Not every Pokémon Gym is located on land; at least one is at sea. In Wellington, New Zealand, a Gym was situated at a fountain. But that fountain happened to be located in the middle of Wellington Harbor. Naturally, players Kelsey Thomson and Lizzy Eden decided to rent a kayak, row out there, and claim the Gym for themselves while tweeting their adventure. The girls were successful in their endeavor, ultimately claiming the Gym for Team Mystic (based on the blue, flying legendary Ice-type Pokémon Articuno). Maybe they were able to find a Gyarados or something out there too, who knows?
This is Not Lavender Town
In another case of 'maybe people should not be playing Pokémon Go here', Ground Zero is another popular location for players with at least four PokeSpots available at the memorial in New York City. Presumably,the game is just choosing well-known landmarks for its location; one screenshot shared on the Internet by a player showed the house used as the home of Breaking Bad character Walter White as a PokeSpot. Some officials are extremely angry at these incidents, stating the museums and other historical sites are spots for learning and reflection, not playing a game. But others are hoping that the game will attract individuals who would otherwise have no reason to visit these places.
It's a Boy, it's a Girl, it's a...Pidgey?
Jessica Theriot gave birth Thursday of last week, bringing new human life into the world, as a lovely baby daughter was added to the Theriot family. Meanwhile, husband Jonathan Theriot caught a Pidgey that appeared to be roosting on his in-labor wife. Jonathan wrote, “When your wife is about to have a baby and a Pokémon shows up and you have to low-key catch it.” Sadly, the parents did not name their new baby girl Pidgey in memory of the occasion.
Pokemon Go: 1. Westboro Baptist Church: 0.
Anyone familiar with the antics of the Westboro Baptists Church knows that it is a group with…let’s call it a PR problem. The Church is known for its anti-homosexual agenda and blatant hate speech, so when their facility became a Gym in Pokémon Go one player saw his opportunity for some fun. He conquered the Gym using a small, pink fairy-like Pokémon called Clefairy. He nicknamed his Clefairy “LoveIsLove”, the slogan used by the LGBT community. The Church responded with pictures of the Pokémon Jigglypuff, another small and pink creature, holding a sign that says “Repent or Perish”. It seems that Pokémon Gyms are instigating more than one type of battle.
Gotta Walk 'Em All
Source: ABC News
The Muncie Animal Shelter in Muncie, Indiana released a poster asking people to come in and take their dogs for walks while roaming about to play Pokémon Go. The Shelter wants players interested in virtual animals to take some time and help the real ones out as well. On the flipside, some players are starting to tweet pictures of pooped out puppies who have been on long walks with their trainers - I mean owners - who are on the hunt for more Pokémon. Stand strong Lassie; Timmy won’t replace you with a Growlithe.
The "Fakemon" Stories
Now there have been a few crazy stories popping up here and there that are blatantly false. TheNoChill put out a false story claiming that a teenager was shot and killed while playing the game, trying to get into a house in the middle of the night and alarming a homeowner. Another story, this one released by CartelPress, claimed a man caused a major highway accident by stopping his car in order to catch a Pikachu. CartelPress also claimed a teenager stabbed his brother to death for deleting Pokémon Go from his phone and that a different teenager was stabbed when he wandered into a bad neighborhood to play the game. While a game that has players - especially kids - wandering around does inspire some concern, know how to tell the real thing apart from the satire.