It was only a matter of time before things got out of control with the new augmented reality game Pokemon Go. Since its launch, it has claimed the title of “the biggest game in the US”, topped Twitter’s daily users and overtaken Facebook in time spent in-app. If you haven’t heard of the game before, this post will tell you all about it.
When It Launched
Sydney was so excited for the release of Pokemon Go, PAX Australia’s Guy Blomberg organised a “Pokemon Go Walk”. Originally intended to be a “little meet and greet”, the event attracted over 2000 people!
Two separate events were held, one in Sydney outside the iconic Opera House and the other in Perth. The Sydney event was so large and unprecedented that it attracted the attention of a local news station (7 news).
The Beginning Of A Problem
Dedicated gamers from all walks of life started prowling the streets at all hours, putting themselves at risk. The stories flooded the headlines of mainstream media outlets.
One girl found a dead body, countless people walked into traffic and one man was stabbed in the shoulder at 1am but continued playing regardless. One teenage gang in Wyoming used Pokemon Go to successfully rob 12 people before getting arrested.
The game achieved its goal of getting people off the couch but brought new problems along with it.
The Next Stage
The cautionary tales flooding the media did little to deter the dedicated players, who continued to look for the best Pokemon Hotspots (PokeStops). One such area is a waterfront, high-density suburb called Rhodes.
Due to multiple PokeStops being placed in the area, Peg Paterson Park became the main attraction for players resulting in crowds of more than 1000 people at a time.
This started a divide between the players and the local community, especially the residents of the apartment blocks overlooking the park.
Having gotten tired of the noise and chaos, the residents decided to fight back. On the 12th of July, they banded together, throwing eggs and water bombs from their homes at the players below.
Needless to say, the police were called who told the crowd they would have to disperse or face a $200 fine.
Since the incident, the Sydney Pokemon Facebook group has tried to curb the problem by sending out messages asking players to keep noise levels down. Some residents took the matter into their own hands by handing out drinks and sausages at the park in an attempt to calm things down.
What happens now
Since the high foot traffic in the area has not decreased, large crowds continue to be an issue. At the behest of local residents, City of Canada Bay Council sent a request to Niantic’s developers asking them to remove the popular PokeStops from the local park.
Whether the game developers choose to answer the request is yet to be seen. However, some vulgar and disrespectful gamers like the one below are not helping the situation [language warning – seriously, it’s not pretty].
Regardless of whether you choose to play the game, you should be aware of the dangers that surround it. Protect your home from possible thieves with this brilliant system.
What do you think about the Pokemon Go craze? Should Niantic developers remove the PokeStops? Let us know in the comments below!