Pokémon GO has officially been shot down as a reason for anyone to break quarantine regulations. Since its release in 2016, Pokémon Go has been downloaded over a billion times and has supplied fans with any number of entertaining stories detailing the real life exploits of its players getting themselves into outlandish scenarios while playing the game. The game’s initial skyrocket of popularity subsided with time but it has seen a solid stream of players stick with the product throughout its existence.
Pokémon Go is an augmented reality mobile game released by developer Niantic. It allows players to travel to real world locations where various Pokémon spawn within the game. It has seen massive spikes in popularity since its release in 2016 and Niantic has continued support of the game with updates that include new features such as trading and battling with other players, new Pokémon from the ever expanding roster of characters featured in the ongoing core series, and cosmetics and events that see the limited time release of rare Pokémon that players would not be able to catch at any other time.
In an article from BBC, a Pokémon Go player in Bedworth, England broke quarantine restrictions and drove 14 miles to the neighboring town of Kenilworth to play the game. He was stopped and questioned by local police. Since his only reasoning for being outside of his residence was a video game, he was fined £200 for “contravening the requirement to not leave or be outside the place they live without a reasonable excuse”. The police spokeswoman went on to say that “everyone has a part to play” in stemming the spread of the COVID-19 virus during this global pandemic.
This is not the first time a Pokémon Go player has gotten themselves into trouble while attempting to become the very best. One player in Baltimore crashed into a police car while having the game open behind the wheel and another woman found herself stuck in a tree when hunting for Pokémon in a cemetery. These are just a few incidents. Niantic has released plenty of statements over the years telling players to pay attention to their surroundings while playing; it has also cautioned fans to never play while behind the wheel of a vehicle. It’s even installed a feature within the app that can tell when a player is moving to fast to be walking.
Besides the ridiculous stories that have cropped up due to questionable choices by players, the game has continued to keep a steady flow of entertaining content. Various generations of Pokémon have been released into the game and multiple quests and missions have been added that can keep players busy for a long time. Niantic has even rid the game of the step-requirement needed to participate in remote trainer battles between players so people do not have to leave their homes to enjoy the game. More recently, Niantic partnered with clothing brands Gucci and North Face to bring their clothing items to trainers virtually.
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