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Pokemon No: All the ways you shouldn't play the latest app craze

It's easy to find tips about how to catch the best Pokemon. But what you won't find is a list of all the hazardous ways people are playing Pokemon Go. Yes, there are wrong ways -- unfortunately.

Some people scraped their knees or sprained their ankles. Others smacked into revolving doors, crashed their cars or accidentally walked off cliffs. Some people even ventured into old minefields -- the real-life kind that can literally blow you up.

No, this isn't a warning about the perils of drinking too much or experimenting with drugs.

This is what people are doing to play a video game.

The game is Pokemon Go, and it's been a massive hit since it was released earlier this month. Grab your phone, install the free app, and, well, go. You start by seeing an overhead map of wherever you are, with place-markers and animations of ruffling leaves. Your objective is to step out, using your own two feet, and walk to where you think the leaves are rustling in real life. If you're right, a mythical creature, called a Pokemon, appears and you have to catch it.

New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority posted warnings in subways stations to help guard the safety of overzealous players of Pokemon Go.

New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority posted warnings in subway stations to help protect overzealous players of Pokemon Go.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

People have said they love the adventure of finding as many creatures as they can, like a Pikachu or a Charmander, while they visit local landmarks called Pokestops and Gyms.

It's all possible because of this new technology called augmented reality, where computers and the real world mix in ways that seemed like sci-fi just a few years ago.

Seems like harmless fun, right? After all, this game finally gets gamers walking outside instead of sitting inside and mashing a controller with their fingers in front of a TV in a dark room. But some people have ended up putting themselves in real danger, all in an effort to gather supplies (like Pokeballs) and capture the next fictional animal that shows up on their screen.

Which brings me to the point: It's only fun until someone gets hurt.

And while that hasn't happened, beyond bumps and scrapes -- at least not yet -- it's amazing how many ways people have put themselves in danger so far.

To be fair to Niantic, which makes the game, includes a warning in the app that cautions players to "be alert at all times" and "stay aware of your surroundings." The company also said in a statement that people should not to put themselves in dangerous situations, and asked parents to be mindful of their children's activities.

Some people haven't taken that message to heart, giving me the chance to put together this list of all wrong ways to play Pokemon Go.

Expect the list to keep growing.

Pokemoning while driving

You'd think the uproar over texting and driving would be enough to convince people to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Tragically, no. About 5,000 people in the US still die every year from crashes that occur while they're typing or reading on their phones.

So far, two high-profile accidents have happened related to Pokemon Go. One player hit a tree nearly head on, but was lucky to walk away with just a few scratches. Another wreck was filmed by a police body-camera, which captured a distracted driver hitting a parked police car in Baltimore, Maryland. Fortunately, the cops were standing outside the car when it happened. As for the driver, he told them, "That's what I get for playing this dumb-ass game." No kidding.

Pokemoning while walking -- without watching where you're going

My new year's resolution was to stop texting while walking, and I was doing pretty well keeping my eyes off the screen -- until Pokemon Go came along. Apparently, I'm not alone.

Of course, some people have already suffered from knee scrapes and ankle sprains in their quest to "catch em all." One player fell in a pond as he was staring at his phone (he says it was dark and he couldn't see the moss covering the lake -- sure).

A few others players, in Encinitas, California, accidentally fell off a cliff. Fortunately, they suffered only minor injuries. The city of Encinitas has since issued an alert, reminding players to "stay clear of all bluffs, overhangs and cliffs." Yes, even if there's a rare Pokemon nearby.

Pokemoning around dangerous people

One of the game's most enticing features, the Pokestops and Gyms around your neighborhood, which you can interact with only if you physically walk to them, have also become magnets for criminals. Evildoers in O'Fallon, Missouri, realized they could just hang out at one of the locations listed to everyone in the game and have victims come to them.

To make matters worse, you can add a "lure" to one of these locations, ostensibly to draw Pokemon nearby. The town's police took to Facebook to issue a warning: "Please use caution when alerting strangers of your future location."

About a week later, a 21-year old player was robbed in New York's Central Park.

Pokemoning in a minefield

This really has happened.

Players were spotted trying to catch Pokemon in an active Bosnian minefield, left over from the brutal war that engulfed the country two decades ago.

Posavina bez mina, an anti-landmine organization that helps identify their location and warn people about them, used its Facebook page to tell players that no Pokemon is worth a player's life or limb.

"One can consider it a joke, but it is not a joke if you consider the fact that 20 years after the war was over, we still have casualties every year," said Svjetlana Pavlovic, general manager of the organization.

Like I said, it's only fun until someone gets hurt. Make sure it's not you.

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