Pokemon Go safety tips from LASD
LOS ANGELES — Pokemon Go safety is no game, according to a press release from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department regarding this latest mobile gaming sensation. The release often treads the fine line between cute and cringe in its mission to educate players about the dangers of unsafe public gaming.
Pokemon Go encourages players to physically walk from location to location in their neighborhoods, which can often entail some risks. Important details not walking into traffic, remaining in well-lit areas, and playing with large groups.
One bit of advice is all too relevant. “Gamers are strangers, too. Just because they like Pokémon does not mean they will be nice to you.” This recalls recent robberies in St. Louis, Missouri during which involved players being lured to a location, only to find themselves being mugged.
The release seems to have been written by someone who barely understands what Pokemon is about. For example, it encourages people to “become the best Ash Ketchum they can” — Ash Ketchum being the protagonist of the Pokemon children’s cartoon. However, the concerns underlying it are well-founded, as the Missouri robberies show.
Pokemon Go, released by gaming companies Niantic and Nintendo, places collectable Pokemon and loot locations on nearby geographic points. Popular Pasadena landmarks that have been tagged as loot locations include Pasadena City Hall and Hotel Constance.
LASD isn’t the only law enforcement agency that has released statements regarding Pokemon Go. In the wake of gaming-related robberies, many police departments have issued their own warnings. Even in the first hours after release, one Australian police department asked players to stay away from its station during their search for Pokemon.
However, despite potential for mischief, police departments have generally retained a positive attitude regarding the game. Even LASD’s release ends on a high note, reminding players to be safe and enjoy the game.
By Hugo Guzman