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Pokémon GO could be as dangerous as texting: Study

We have been hearing that people are being injured playing Pokémon Go, the popular location-based augmented reality game. Conrad Earnest, a research scientist at Texas A&M University's Exercise and Sport Nutrition Lab, says that playing Pokémon Go is as dangerous act as texting.

  • Updated: August 20, 2016 12:05 AM IST
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According to a new study Pokémon GO could be as dangerous as texting. The danger involved in playing the location-based augmented reality game Pokémon GO is similar to the hazards of texting, a new study has warned. Pokémon GO, which released in July, uses global positioning system (GPS) to help players locate, capture, battle and train Pokémon who appear on the screen as if they were in the same real-world location as the player. The app quickly became a global phenomenon and has been downloaded by more than 100 million people worldwide. In the days after the game’s release, reports started coming in of people falling, running into things or even walking into traffic playing Pokémon GO. Also Read - Did you know you can earn Bitcoin by playing AR game: Here's how

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Nintendo issues ‘Pokémon GO warning’, shares fall. “The problem with Pokémon GO, in my opinion, is that it leads to a whole new level of not only slowing down, but moving in a particular direction to chase your Pokémon ,” said Conrad Earnest, a research scientist at Texas A&M University in the US. Last year, Earnest completed research focused on texting and walking. His team found that when compared with non-distracted walkers, texting and cognitively distracted walkers slowed down, took more steps and increased the height of their steps to go over obstacles. Also Read - Facebook's FB Gaming Press Start virtual event announced: First ever event for gamers in India

Researchers used the results to hypothesise that the slowed walking pace coupled with path deviations will eventually cause a trip-and-fall accident. Earnest refers to that research to discuss recent concerns about dangers surrounding Pokémon GO.

“Players are more likely to cross at a time when the crosswalk signs are not giving a clear go. They are more likely to cross in the middle of the street as opposed to a crosswalk,” said Earnest.

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  • Published Date: August 20, 2016 12:00 AM IST
  • Updated Date: August 20, 2016 12:05 AM IST



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