by: Eric Wagaman
If you have not noticed by now, Pokémon Go has taken over our communities and the world by storm. Pokémon Go had built up more active users than Twitter in a week as well as being the most downloaded game ever on Android and IOS in less than a month. With large phenomenas come large repercussions on society. Let’s take a look on how Pokémon Go could affect the users and bystanders. First off, what is Pokémon Go and why do those playing look like zombies staring at their phone?
What is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go, in essence, is a digital scavenger hunt where you are required to physically move around in the real world to catch Pokémon. The augmented reality (AR) game is operated through the camera on your cell phone in conjunction with the GPS feature to know where you are exactly wandering.
Pokémon, which means “pocket monsters”, was created originally as a card trading activity and a video game in 1996. Pokémon are fictional characters/monsters that can be found in the Pokémon universe. Trainers are those who hunt down the dozens of monsters in their communities and own the Pokémon. Once they have collected some Pokémon, they can train them to battle other people’s Pokémon in special areas called gyms within the game.
Gyms are designated zones within the game that players can meet up to battle their Pokémon. These zones are located at some of the registered historical landmarks within our communities such as plaques and statues. There are also zones called Pokéstops, located at registered churches and other landmarks, that give you free Pokéballs and items which are required to catch the pocket monsters. As you can tell, nearly everything has the phrase “Poké” in it.
If you are a trainer or know a trainer, here a few tips to keep yourself and those around you safe.
How can I train safely?
Some of these tips may seem obvious but this game has racked up injuries and accidents already. There are dozens of reports online of people falling down stairs, walking into trees, tripping over curbs and falling into fountains trying to find the elusive Blastoise. So please take your eyes off your phone for two seconds and:
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Do not Poké hunt and drive
- Do not Poké hunt alone in unfamiliar areas
- Do not play on the job
How does this affect me?
- Car Insurance
Being glued to your phone screen while driving is not just dangerous but illegal. Put your phone down before you hurt yourself or someone else. There have been multiple Pokémon Go accidents reported already, you do not want to be one of them.
The distracted driving laws are deservedly harsh in the state of Michigan. If you were found to be on your phone at all while driving, you may be considered at fault. This could then lead to a ticket and a hike in your insurance rates. For the safety of yourself and others, please put your phone away to decrease your risk of being in an accident.
- Home/Renters Insurance
Since Pokémon go requires you to play outdoors and not in your parents basement, you can be at risk of theft or even damage done to your property by fellow trainers. There could be a Pikachu in your backyard while you are out hunting Pokémon yourself, so if the other trainers decide to pummel your flowerbeds and jump the fence you may be covered with the proper home insurance policy. Do you have an adequate amount of home insurance to cover you for your potential losses and damages? If you rent, do you have renters insurance? Do you have a list of your valued possessions in case a theft occurs? These are just of few of the basic questions you should ask yourself whether you own a home or are a renter.
- Life Insurance
This may seem like a dark topic but we are all surrounded by Poké trainers and live in an era where distracted driving runs rampant. We have control over ourselves but have zero control over others. Are you and your loved ones covered for life’s unpredictable moments?
What are the benefits of Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go has become one of the biggest trends in recent years. This game brings people together from all walks of life and encourages them to be outside and active. I can find myself walking on an eight to ten mile hike just to find a dozen pocket monsters. Personally, I have met dozens of individuals at gyms and have had terrific conversations with them.
This may just be the start of augmented reality gaming (AR) which may result in similar insurance claims for years to come. Give our agency a call or visit our website regarding quotes and claims.
Distractions increase risk, let us have your back by managing those risks!
LOCAL.FRIENDLY.INSURANCE www.WhitakerLaChance.com (269) 324-7700
About the Author:
Eric Wagaman is the Brand Marketing and Development Intern at the Whitaker LaChance Agency in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is a Senior at Western Michigan University in their Sales and Business Marketing program. Eric is a driven individual who is passionate about meeting the needs of others by going beyond their expectations. During his free time, Eric enjoys golfing, hiking, attending sporting events and indulging in new restaurants.