Pokémon Go has only been around for a short time, but it’s already one of the most popular apps of all time. It has nearly surpassed Twitter (in volume of daily active users), it has been installed more times than Candy Crush Saga, and the average Pokémon Go player is in the app for longer, on average, than people are on Facebook in a given day. The millions of people who use this app are getting off the couch, getting outdoors and perhaps improving their health along the way.
But this massively popular game is not all entertainment and good health news; it also has a darker side, albeit unintentionally. While there has long been debate about the alleged psychological harm of certain video games, Pokémon Go players can face very real physical harm if they are not careful. In our “Catching Serious Harm” blog series, we analyze some of these dangers, including:
- Part One: Distracted driving/car accidents caused by Pokémon Go
- Part Two: Injuries to pedestrians playing Pokémon Go
- Part Three: Dangerous property that harms Pokémon Go players
Injuries Are Not Unexpected
Nintendo and Niantic (the companies behind Pokémon Go) appear to have anticipated that people would take the Pokémon Go craze too far, and they have attempted to add a layer of legal protection against claims of “Pokémon injuries.” In Pokémon Go’s terms of service, there is a Safe Play section that states:
“[Players] will not otherwise engage in any activity that may result in injury, death, property damage, and/or liability of any kind. To the extent permitted by applicable law, Niantic, The Pokémon Company (“TPC”), and TPCI disclaim all liability related to any property damage, personal injury, or death that may occur during your use of our Services … “