‘Death by Pokémon is coming,’ law professor warns

An American law professor has provided a stern warning to Pokémon Go players, saying it could result to trespassing charges or even death.

An American law professor has provided a stern warning to Pokémon Go players, saying it could result to trespassing charges or even death.

“Death by Pokémon is coming,” Professor Gerry Beyer told Fox News Tech.

Pokémon users will have all sorts of accidents as they use the program while walking, biking, driving, etc.” the Governor Preston E. Smith Regents Professor of Law at Texas Tech University School of Law said.

The warning comes as tens of millions play the mobile game daily. According to a report by Rolling Stone, the game has hit more than 20 million daily active users.

Built on the 90s pop culture hit franchise Pokémon ­– a portmanteau of the original Japanese title of Pocket Monsters – the game uses elements of augmented reality to let users capture game characters, which they will care for and use in battles, by exploring their surroundings.

The game also features “PokéStops,” often real-life landmarks, where items used in the game can be found.

The game’s location-based and augmented reality nature has led to controversy and danger.

Fox cited three teenagers being stopped by authorities after trespassing at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Ohio while trying to capture Pokémon.

Several police forces have also warned users of the game not to lose awareness of their surroundings while playing the game. Some people have also been reportedly robbed while playing the game after being lured to places by criminals using the game.

The Holocaust Museum in Washington DC is also moving to remove its status as a “PokéStop”. In a similar vein, the Arlington Cemetery has also asked people to avoid playing the game on their grounds.

Furthermore, Fox notes that multiple vehicular accidents are reported to be connected to Pokémon Go.

“I also fear that Pokémon trespassers may be considered home invaders by property owners and injured or even killed by owners who believe they are defending their property and life,” continued Professor Beyer.

“The Pokémon user certainly will be liable for trespassing (and any other damages he or she causes) to the property owners,” Beyer is quoted saying in an email.
 

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