July 25th, 2016|
Even though Pokemon Go advises players to “stay aware of your surroundings” and “be alert at all times,” many individuals aren’t taking heed of this warning. Just last week a Baltimore driver made a bad decision when it came to playing Pokemon Go. After choosing to play the game while driving, he found himself crashed into a parked police car. The officers who were involved were not in the patrol car at the time of the accident and were able to “catch it all” on a body camera.
This is not the only Pokemon Go related accident. Like Pokemon, reports of accidents associated with Pokemon Go are popping up everywhere and they aren’t just car accidents. The list includes accidents involving collisions, robberies, assaults and the list goes on. This raises the question, should Nintendo be held responsible for accidents involving Pokemon Go? Players of the game have found it to be not only entertaining, but particularly immersive due to its geo-centered features which utilize real locations on the map. The free app already has over 15 million users, some of whom are running into doors, entering dangerous property- and yes, even crashing their cars attempting to catch furry and curious creatures called Pokemon.
While the game has delighted players around the world, it can have serious consequences as the virtual aspects of the game intersect with real-life dangers. With increasing numbers of injuries and even fatalities that involve the game, many are now wondering what legal consequences could follow for makers of the game. All players agree to the Pokemon Go terms and conditions which prohibit users from joining any kind of class action lawsuit against the company. Once a player “agrees” to these conditions, they waive their right to a trial by jury.
For now it appears to be very difficult for players who encountered dangerous scenarios- such as an auto accident- while playing the game to press legal action against makers of Pokemon Go. All users should use caution and discretion while playing the game as it can lead to consequences which surpass its virtual realm.
“Nintendo should not be faulted for making a game that is fun to play,” says Cory Watson attorney Stephen Hunt Jr. “The responsibility is on the person playing the game. This is just another form of distracted driving. Getting behind the wheel of a car while playing a virtual reality game can be just as bad as driving drunk.”