Two men in their early 20s reportedly fell off a seaside cliff north of San Diego, Thursday while playing Pokemon Go. The pair were chasing virtual reality monsters using the latest app-based game between E and F Streets in Encinitas when they fell off the cliff.
The virtual reality game was launched just a week ago, catching the attentions of millions of smartphone users. This recent game has also been at the center of some strange and bizarre events recently.
According to the San Diego Country Sheriff’s Department, the pair climbed the fence, ignoring warning signs, to get on the bluff in Encinitas, California. The identities of the victims were not confirmed.
Two men fall off a cliff playing 'Pokémon Go' in California https://t.co/bw3Ljh1oP6— Mashable (@mashable) July 14, 2016
According to NBC, lifeguards who witnessed the incident at 1:12 p.m. on Wednesday said one of the men fell about 75 to 100 feet before hitting the beach, while another man was found unconscious after falling about 50 feet, catching the guard’s attention.
The two men were immediately taken to the Scrips La Jolla Center for further treatment after receiving some minor injuries.
“The fire department had to extricate them with ropes and harnesses and such,” said Pupping.
The Pokemon Go app uses GPS and Google Maps to overlay characters on the player’s actual surroundings, creating an augmented reality, and it has become the latest sensation among smartphone users.
The players have to discover and catch Pokemon in real-life locations by moving about their surroundings.
“I think people just need to realize this is a game,” Sgt. Rich Eaton of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s not worth your life. No game is worth your life.”
2 California men fall off edge of an ocean cliff while playing “Pokemon Go” https://t.co/U4AkrSVnuq— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) July 14, 2016
This game enables players to exercise in real time environment by having to walk to play, unlike previously developed app-based games.
Many such incidents have followed involving player injuries since the successful launch of the game.
One player reportedly found a dead body, while some have been robbed and others involved in traffic accidents. A 28-year-old man crashed his car into a tree in New York, while in Ohio, a couple were arrested after they broke into a zoo to chase Pokemon.
Another incident occurred in Anaheim on Wednesday wherein a man was stabbed multiple times by a group of men at a park, police said.
“We’d like people to stay clear of all the bluffs, overhangs, and cliffs,” said Pupping, though she was not able to confirm if the two men were indeed playing Pokemon Go at the time of their fall.
“This is just a game. Please don’t lose your life over a game. Pay attention to your surroundings,” Sgt. Rich Eaton told The Huffington Post.
Local authorities are busy reminding the public to not “catch and drive” or play on private property. They have warned that the game could lead players into a very vulnerable situation.
On Sunday, two men trying to catch fictional characters at a Sacramento Country Park were reportedly robbed and carjacked. On the same day, a brother and sister were robbed of their smartphones in San Francisco.
According to a department press release, two men were nearly robbed about 2:40 a.m. Lakewood while walking home. A man with a gun stepped out and tried to rob them, sheriff’s officials said. One of the victims fought back against the gunman while the car’s driver tried to run the men over.
Since Pokemon Go has been so popular after the release, it has rocketed to the top of Apple store. On the other hand, the negative aspects of the game have slowly emerged. Such incidents are simply the epitome of commitment and passion towards virtual reality.
[Photo By Jean Chung/Getty Images]