Pokemon GO was finally released to the public this July and has caught the attention of people of all ages and genders. The mobile game has created friendships within the community and will continue to do so around the world. At the Courthouse Square Park in Merced students, adults, and children gather day and night due to the abundance of IMG_1819 (1)pokemon that show up there. Strangers from all different walks of life can be seen conversing with one another. Even the friendly rivalries between the Teams Valor, Mystic, and Instinct, the game’s factions, do not stop connections from being formed and kept. Pokemon GO is still a new mobile game that will continue to bring people together.

As a developing mobile game, Pokemon Go continues to grow and reach different regions around the world. With that, Niantic, the game’s development team, is currently working on new features for the game. Those features include trading and battling with Pokemon Trainers. Until further updates, trainers will continue their journey to “catch ‘em all.”

IMG_2016-07-19-16551146However, the game also poses some risks to players. Pokemon Go players need to be aware of their surroundings. Elaine Luc, a student currently attending UC Merced, was almost involved in a car accident.

“I was sitting in the car while my mom was driving, and I was in the middle of customizing my trainer when the car in front of us swerved and suddenly changed lanes in front of us and slowed down to a stop,” Elaine wrote in her Facebook update. “My mom drove past the car and I took a peek at the driver, who was playing Pokemon Go.”

Drivers should be cautious not to play the mobile game while on the road. Playing Pokemon GO while driving is equivalent to texting while driving and may even be worse. Pokemon
GO players are responsible for being aware of their surroundings at all times and theScreenshot_2016-07-10-22-47-29
game’s loading screen shows this warning. Unfortunately, there have already been many accidents involving Pokemon GO.

New York Daily News covered an accident involving Pokemon GO in which Autumn Deiseroth was struck by a car while crossing a busy highway in an attempt to catch a Pokemon and blamed the game for allowing Pokemon to appear near busy roads. Thankfully, she was not severely injured in the accident and will be okay.

For all Pokemon Trainers, please be aware of your surroundings as you continue on this exciting Pokemon journey.


Photo Credit: Anjeliko Garcia


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