Pittsfield Police urge 'Pokemon Go' players to watch surroundings, not just screens


PITTSFIELD — A friendly reminder from city police that, if you "gotta" catch them all, do so safely.

In response to the recent release of the interactive "Pokemon Go" application last week, Pittsfield Police are urging players of the game to be cautious and use common sense while hunting the game's elusive creatures.

"Please educate your children on the dangers of wandering around and forgetting your surroundings," part of a post on the department's Facebook page reads. "We don't like being the party police."

"And for you adults that have been driving around in search of these imaginary creatures, do not drive and play at the same time. There have already been many reported accidents, both non-fatal and fatal since this came out a few days ago."

The mobile device app, which has become a national craze since being released last week, uses a smartphone's camera and GPS functions to allow players to "hunt" outdoors and collect virtual Pokemon characters. The game is akin to the GPS coordinates-based scavenger hunt style pastime of geocaching.

Since the release of "Pokemon Go," there have been reports of players being injured or narrowly escaping injury due to not paying attention to their surroundings while looking at the gaming screen.

In a statement, The Pokemon Company said, "We are constantly looking at ways to add safety features to 'Pokemon Go' and expect to incorporate some features based on user experience into future builds."

The free application is the latest incarnation of the Pokemon franchise, which launched in the mid-1990s and has been developed into video and card games and a popular animated series and movie.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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