As a mobile game, Pokemon GO is able to use push notifications to remind its players to go outside and get involved in the fun. But while the game’s notification feature may be annoying for some, this week, other players are finding that it could be outright lethal.
On Twitter yesterday, one Pokemon GO player reported that the game had sent them a notification encouraging them to “explore your local parks” and catch some more Pokemon. While the notification was likely sent out en masse to players in the United States, for this particular player who is based on Florida, going outside to the park could be potentially deadly.
Florida is currently in the grips of Hurricane Irma, with huge gusts of wind and storm surges affecting the Sunshine State. Millions of Floridians have been evacuated, while those who are still in the state have been told to prepare, and not go outside for activities such as Pokemon GO. However, Niantic’s notification for the game was sent out to inform players about Pokemon GO nest migration. And although many paid no attention to the notification, realizing that it was just automated and not sent with Hurricane Irma in mind, it still raised some eyebrows.
— Return (@ReturntheHunter) September 10, 2017
It doesn’t appear that anyone has actually braved the Irma elements to catch ’em all, but some that felt particularly brave (or foolish), may well have considered it. When the game was first released, some Pokemon GO players were almost affected by dangerous tides. It showed that some people will not put a limit on how they play the game, even if it affects their safety.
There has been no shortage of reports about the dangers of the game since it was released. There have been reports of people playing Pokemon GO while driving, of people being ambushed and mugged while playing the game at night, and many incidents of people just not paying enough attention. But the Hurricane Irma notification is perhaps the first example or the game itself leading people to danger, even if it was accidental.
The original tweet has proved to be incredibly popular, getting over 80,000 retweets in just over 24 hours, but it’s unclear whether Pokemon GO developer Niantic has seen it or not. It’s also unclear whether the company plans to update its notification system based on this, but this should at least give Niantic a reason to give it another look.
Pokemon GO is out now on Android and iOS.
Source: ReturntheHunter – Twitter