POKÉ­MON GO­ING

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

NIU YUE

wait­ing for the server to restart.

“I al­most caught an Aero­dactyl (a rare dragon-like Poké­mon) half an hour ago, but the server went down. I hated my life a lit­tle bit when it hap­pened,” he said, still try­ing to reload the game.

It’s not the first time the game’s de­sign has been crit­i­cized as faulty. Shortly af­ter its re­lease on July 7, Poké­mon GO was re­ported to be seek­ing full ac­cess to a user’s Google ac­count, which raised con­cerns about pri­vacy. The de­vel­op­ers ac­knowl­edged the flaw on Tues­day, five days af­ter the game’s re­lease, and is­sued up­dates to en­sure users’ in­for­ma­tion was pro­tected.

Other safety con­cerns arose when the game went beyond the in­ter­net. Some peo­ple wor­ried that play­ers be­come less aware of their sur­round­ings when they are im­mersed in the half-fan­tasy world the game cre­ates.

“Many play­ers are like zom­bies in the streets”, said San­dra Chen, 30, a Poké­mon player in New York City. “They keep their heads down, star­ring at the screen in case a Poké­mon pops up.”

Kyrie Tomp­kins, a Maine web de­signer, twisted her an­kle try­ing to catch a Poké­mon. “My an­kle still hurts and I missed the Jig­gly­puff (a small pink Poké­mon),” she tweeted on July 7.

Emer­gency room trip

Red­dit user “Amalthea” said that “Poké­mon GO put me in the ER” on July 7.

“Not even 30 min­utes af­ter the re­lease last night, I slipped and fell down a ditch. Frac­tured the fifth metatarsal bone in my foot, six to eight weeks for re­cov­ery,” said “Amalthea”.

A po­lice sta­tion in San Fran­cisco is­sued Poké­mon GO safety tips to re­mind play­ers of po­ten­tial dan­gers, ask­ing play­ers to obey traf­fic laws, avoid run­ning into ob­sta­cles and stop rid­ing bikes or skate­boards while play­ing the game.

The Metropoli­tan Trans­porta­tion Author­ity sent a tweet on Mon­day alert­ing play­ers to not get close to train tracks when play­ing Poké­mon GO in sub­way sta­tions.

“It says in the be­gin­ning of the game, ‘stay aware of your sur­round­ings’,” said Reyes. “I al­ways tell my­self the road is not where the Poké­mon are go­ing to ap­pear. They are go­ing to be right down the side­walk, so I ei­ther catch them be­fore go­ing across the road, or wait un­til I get across first.”

De­spite the draw­backs, Poké­mon GO play­ers and the game’s de­vel­op­ers are pos­i­tive about its fu­ture and also the AR game mar­ket.

“This is the most pop­u­lar AR game that ever ex­isted. We are def­i­nitely go­ing to see a lot of clones,” said Gar­ra­han.

Judy Zhu and Nancy Kong in New York con­trib­uted to this story.

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