Before we get into this, I think something needs to be said as far as any kind of crime or violence when it comes to gaming: It’s just a game. No matter how you feel about it, you will eventually move onto something else either in gaming or life in general. Please, do not take whatever you’re playing so seriously that you’re willing to go to extremes like assault, robbery, or even bodily harm to another individual over it. It isn’t worth it, as one person is finding out in a very real way.
Walter Tatum, a native of Tuskegee, Alabama has been convicted of robbery in the first degree of a Pokémon GO player at gunpoint and third degree assault from an incident in July 2016. A pair of players were searching for rare Pokemon at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art in Auburn at 3 a.m. when four men wearing bandanas and wielding BB guns robbed them at gunpoint and left them with minor injuries that required an emergency room visit. All four men were quickly tracked down through mobile recovery apps and arrested.
Two of the men pled guilty, while Tatum fought the charges and was convicted, with the fourth’s case is still pending. The crime rate and deaths over the game cannot be ignored as hundreds of players have been arrested multiple times for trespassing, even having one individual shot at a golf course by security for it. That doesn’t even include the kid in Russia facing prison time for playing it in a church. While Niantic needs to step up and say something to the public before these kinds of incidents continue to put people in danger.
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