Unlike most smartphone games, Pokémon Go is intended to be played out in the real world, as players are tasked with scouring their immediate surroundings for rare monsters. This means that there’s potential for budding Pokémon trainers to cause themselves physical injury while they’re distracted by what’s going on in-game.
Shortly after the game was released in July 2016, one player crashed his car into a school building while playing the game. A month later, Japanese authorities reported the first fatality thought to have been caused by the app. Needless to say, this isn’t what the developers had in mind when they created a game that encourages players to go outside and be active.
There was an attempt to assuage these kinds of issues in the form of Pokémon Go Plus, a wearable that was released in September 2016. The device allowed players to catch Pokémon without looking at the screen of their smartphone — instead, they could simply press a button on the wristwatch-like peripheral.
However, there are apparently plans for a second wearable that will hopefully reduce the risk to players even further, according to a report from Gamespot. “Together with Nintendo, we are thinking of developing a new device that can be played more safely,” said Tsunekazu Ishihara, president of the Pokémon Company.
It’s certainly admirable to see Nintendo and the Pokémon Company take the lead in an effort to cut down on accidents caused by Pokémon Go. Let’s hope that players who would otherwise get distracted while playing the game will make use of any devices offered them to make things safer.
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