That some of the game Pokémon Go players are so deeply immersed in the augmented reality world, that they perceive their surroundings probably only limited, you could quite watch especially at the events of the game. Purdue University researchers in Indiana are now trying to pinpoint the damage caused by the game in a study titled ” Death by Pokémon Go “.
In their work, the researchers select the Tippecanoe County region as the basis for their investigation – a district of Indiana with about 170,000 inhabitants. According to the analysis, in the first 148 days after the release of Pokémon Go, exactly 286 accidents were recorded, of which 134 occurred in the immediate vicinity of Pokéstops.
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“Based on the detailed police reports (…), we were able to document a noticeable increase in vehicle accidents and resulting damage to vehicles, people, and deaths near Pokéstops, where users are able to play the game while driving”, said the researchers in their study. An investigation of the arenas – places where playing while driving is not possible – have shown that no comparable conspicuous accumulation of accidents was recorded here.
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The scientists are also willing to extrapolate all the damage to the US from their regional data – a method that can not be considered representative due to small and fluctuating underlying assets. “We estimate the nationwide costs caused by users playing Pokémon Go while driving at 5.2 to 25.5 million over a 148-day period,” say the makers. US-wide damage is estimated at $ 2-7.3 billion and up to 30,000 injured.