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A word of caution to all Pokemon Go players

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Illustration by: Alyssa Curry | Staff Illustrator

To all Pokemon Go players out there, a word of caution: despite how you may feel when hunting down Pokemon, life is not a game.

Pokemon Go tricks people of all ages into believing life is nothing but a ludicrous adventure without consequences. This can lead to many dangerous circumstances. Players need to disengage from the game long enough to take in their surroundings and make sure they are not endangering themselves or others.

Since its release on July 6, Pokemon Go has swept the world into a Poke-frenzy. The app has exploded in popularity, engaging everyone from teens to retirees. Whether the surge of fame can be attributed to nostalgia or novelty, Pokemon Go has effortlessly become the activity of choice for many this summer.

Unfortunately, this popularity has not come without a price. Ever since Pokemon Go was released to the general public, the game has been the cause of frequent accidents and injuries to users.

From car accidents occurring in the middle of freeways, to users inadvertently walking off of cliffs, Pokemon Go has been behind a ridiculous number of hazardous circumstances, all of which would not have occurred if the person had not been so immersed in the stupid game to realize what they were walking into.

What makes the experience so enjoyable is the immersive aspect of the game. Playing Pokemon Go superimposes a layer of interest and intrigue on top of what would be a normal, mundane summer day. Unfortunately, this is just what makes playing Pokemon Go so dangerous.

The players are so focused on locating and catching the latest Pokemon, they tend to totally zone out of reality. This can lead to people getting themselves into some pretty sticky situations without them being aware of it until it is too late and they are already walking off a cliff.

Now, don’t freak out just yet. This doesn’t mean you have to give up your days of hunting down Pikachus and go back to spending your somnolent summer days listlessly scrolling through Facebook. All you have to do is take some steps to ensure your safety whilst engaging in Pokemon Go activities.

First of all, don’t automatically assume you can trust someone just because they too are a Pokemon Go player. That means no getting into cars with strangers merely because they’re also part of Team Mystic. As totally obvious as this sounds, it seems to bear mentioning, as the game seems to cause people to feel a kind of fallacious connection to strangers whom they actually know nothing about.

Secondly, players need to make an effort to be always be aware of their surroundings and to constantly be on the lookout for dangerous situations.  For instance, cliffs and strange men offering car rides in creepy vans.

Next time you are hunting Pokemon, be sure to engage in constant vigilance and stranger danger awareness.