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Pokemon Go safety tips from police include 'do not run into trees'

Technically Incorrect: The game has captured minds and hearts. Police in San Francisco fear it's all too much, so they issue fascinating safety tips.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Occasionally, please Pokemon Stop.


I've been confronted over the last 48 hours with strange, zombie-like people wandering with apparent aimlessness around my neighborhood.

It took me a little while to realize that these are PokemonGolians.

They likely haven't seen daylight for a number of years. Suddenly, here they are seeking virtual monsters for their enjoyment.

Pokemon Go has, indeed, become a (perhaps temporary) phenomenon. I remember those halcyon times when all people wanted to do was fill their virtual farm with the virtual goats.

Still, there have been some untoward incidents. A Pokemon player in Wyoming found a dead body. In Missouri, miscreants used the game to allegedly lure players and then perform armed robberies upon them.

The San Francisco Police Department in the Bayview neighborhood recently issued a set of safety tips to help those PokemonGolians who are perhaps new to the outside world.

To those who regularly participate in society, some of these tips might seem self-evident.

For example: "Do not run into trees, meters, and things that are attached to the sidewalk; they hurt."

If you've been living in a virtual world most of your life, you might have no idea.

Then there was this: "Do not drive or ride your bike/skateboard/hipster techie device while interacting with the app."

I sense that Captain Raj Vaswani, who wrote these tips, might have seen one of comedian Louis C.K.'s shows in the Bay Area last weekend. C.K. is renowned for his appreciation of all the tech world has wrought.

Still, there's a certain wisdom in understanding the painful habits of local inhabitants in order to protect and serve them in the best way you can.

Of course, some of these tips did address the darker side of real-life augmented reality gaming.

"Do not go onto private property, dark alleys, or areas that you usually would not go if you weren't playing the game," is one tip. Gamers might, indeed, believe that just because a desirable monster is lurking in a dark alley it means the alley is safe.

In time, PokemonGolians will surely grasp some of the more basic tenets of everyday open-air living.

I hope, though, that regular citizens, should they see a PokemonGolian about to run into a tree will intervene rather than stand back and giggle uncontrollably.