Pokemon GO has claimed its first fatality when a driver in Japan ran over two pedestrians. This is the first known Pok?mon GO death in Japan.
Police said the incident happened on Tuesday in the city of Tokushima. The suspect, a 39-year-old farmer, told the police that he was not paying attention to the road as he was playing Pokemon GO while driving, hitting the two pedestrians.
One of the victims, a 70-year-old woman, died from a spinal injury. The other victim, a 60-year-old woman, was hospitalized and is suffering from severe injuries.
Niantic Inc., the developer of Pok?mon GO, released a statement saying, ?We express our deep condolences to the family and acquaintances. We are still looking into the details of the incident. We will take any necessary steps following the completion of an investigation.?
Meanwhile, The National Police Agency announced that Pokemon GO has been the cause of 79 traffic accidents since it was released.
Pokemon started in 1996 as software for Nintendo?s Game Boy console. Pokemon GO is a social phenomenon, with people from New York to Tokyo getting in on the game. The game, launched in Japan on July 22, uses satellite locations, advanced graphics and in-phone cameras. The Pokemon characters are overlaid on real-world backgrounds, making it an exciting augmented reality game, where a player feels like he?s in the shoes of Ash, a Pokemon Master, and he?s searching for Pokemon characters for real.
Riding on the popularity
The game has been received with mixed emotions. With it being rampant, many other companies have tried to ride on its popularity with their own takes of the franchise. There is an online company that sells geeky sex toys themed after Pok?mon, which they cleverly called, Pokemoan. There is also a burger joint in Sydney which sells burgers that look like Pikachu, Bulbasaur and Charmander. Even EA Games? The Sims has gotten a piece of the pie when one of its regular builders had created a Pokeball house that Simmers can download and integrate into their game.
On the other hand, lawsuits have also been filed against the game?s developers, Niantic, Nintendo and The Pok?mon Company, for trespassing and disturbance. Plaintiffs have accused the developers of intentional and unauthorized placements of Pokestops and Pokemon gyms causing disturbance.
Also read: Pok?mon Book of Joy to Hit the Shelves Soon
Photo Source: Telegraph.co.uk and difixini.deviantart.com