back to article Pokémon GO caused hundreds of deaths, increased crashes

Pokémon GO killed at least two people and spiked rates of car accidents and injuries, according to a study of the game's impact on just one United States city. “Death by Pokémon GO” (PDF), by a pair of researchers from Purdue University's Krannert School of Management, says the game caused “a disproportionate increase in …

  1. Danny 14 Silver badge

    pokemon go killed noone. idiots killed themselves surely?

    1. Martin 47

      But it’s Merkins, gotta have someone to sue.

      ...........and that Darwin stuff is ‘just a theory’

    2. jake Silver badge

      Presumably, Danny 14 ...

      ... you also agree that guns don't kill people, people kill people.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Presumably, Jake ...

        I infer from your question that you believe guns do fire themselves at people?

        1. Anne-Lise Pasch

          Re: Presumably, Jake ...

          > I infer from your question that you believe guns do fire themselves at people?

          Mine do. Drone army ftw!

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Presumably, Jake ...

          No.

        3. Lysenko

          Re: Presumably, Jake ...

          I infer from your question that you believe guns do fire themselves at people?

          The expression "shot by a gun" is analogous to "hit by a car". If you said someone was "hit by a driver" then many (most? all?) people would conclude that a driver stopped, got out of his car and then punched someone.

          Of course, both a car and its driver are capable of hitting you so there is an ambiguity, whereas only a gun (or crossbow, catapult or another projectile weapon) is capable of shooting you.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Presumably, Jake ...

          Only left handed guns do fire themselves at people eh big john?

        5. Richard Jones 1
          WTF?

          Re: Presumably, Jake ...

          Yes they nearly do, since the nominal holders of many 'self defence' weapons end up being killed by their own weapons I guess the guns must fire themselves. The other theory is that you have to be brainless to think a gun makes you safer and not a target, so the gun must have all the brain and thus be capable of self firing.

          The US habit of downgrading mental health services and then allowing any choice of mentally unstable condition to have access to guns is another issue altogether.

          1. Timmy B Silver badge

            Re: Presumably, Jake ...

            @Richard Jones 1

            "Yes they nearly do, since the nominal holders of many 'self defence' weapons end up being killed by their own weapons I guess the guns must fire themselves"

            They are not killed by their own weapons they are killed by themselves using their own weapons. the weapons don't up and fire themselves. They are either fired deliberately or accidentally by a person. I suppose it is possible that a weapon could fail due to corrosion or defect and fire if kept in a cocked position but very highly unlikely and the person who left the gun cocked would be the one at fault.

            1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

              Re: Presumably, Jake ...

              They are not killed by their own weapons they are killed by themselves using their own weapons. the weapons don't up and fire themselves. They are either fired deliberately or accidentally by a person. I suppose it is possible that a weapon could fail due to corrosion or defect and fire if kept in a cocked position but very highly unlikely and the person who left the gun cocked would be the one at fault.

              I always assumed that the "killed by own weapon" stats were mostly due to the owners waving them around in front of burglars or muggers who have then relieved them of the weapon and shot them with it.

              1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

                Re: Presumably, Jake ...

                I always assumed that the "killed by own weapon" stats were mostly due to the owners waving them around in front of burglars or muggers who have then relieved them of the weapon and shot them with it.

                It is very difficult to relieve somebody of a weapon unless the owner is extra careless or crackhead levels of aggressive and you are Jackie Chan.

                And never "wave the weapon". Basics 101.

                1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                  Re: Presumably, Jake ...

                  "And never "wave the weapon". Basics 101."

                  Thats what I mean. People who would never ordinarily own a weapon , but get one because someone close got mugged on the tube , or the latest Terror incident , have zero experience, didnt bother with "basics" and will probably pull it out in a panic , wave it around like Bruce Willis , not have the resolve to actually kill , which will result in a standoff with more waving shouting and panicking till eventually the aggressor grabs the gun.

              2. FIA

                Re: Presumably, Jake ...

                I always assumed that the "killed by own weapon" stats were mostly due to the owners waving them around in front of burglars or muggers who have then relieved them of the weapon and shot them with it.

                It's mainly suicide in the US. There's something like twice as many suicides by gunshot than there is murder by gunshot.

                It's also directly linked to gun ownership too. (as in states with more guns have more suicides).

                See here.

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: Presumably, Jake ...

                  "It's also directly linked to gun ownership too. (as in states with more guns have more suicides)."

                  Yes, IIRC, it's been said that statistically., many suicide attempts are "cries for help", ie they do it in such a way that they are discovered and saved. Not so much if they choose an "instant death" method such as a gun, so I'd think that areas of high gun ownership would likely result in higher "successful" suicide rates since those people are are not exactly thinking straight in most cases. The subconscious desire to be "saved" is less likely to be heard above the "there';s the gun, just do it" of the more concious side of the mind.

                  1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                    Re: Presumably, Jake ...

                    "it's been said that statistically., many suicide attempts are "cries for help", ie they do it in such a way that they are discovered and saved. Not so much if they choose an "instant death" method such as a gun, so I'd think that areas of high gun ownership would likely result in higher "successful" suicide rates since those people are are not exactly thinking straight in most cases. "
                    Almost right. The best quick suicide weapon is a shotgun through the roof of the mouth. Lesser calibre weapons are not so effective and don't even think about a .22. Chemical methods frequently fail because the human body can be quite tolerant of high doses of potent drugs such as opiates that work by suppression of breathing. Very often they merely damage the brain of the would-be suicide leaving them in a worse state than before. Ditto for insulin which came as a bit of a surprise; writers of crime fiction have much to answer for.

                    It's a bad assumption to make that suicides are "not thinking straight". While it's the case that many suicides are down to depression, it's far from the case that all are. My own decision to terminate my life at a time of my choosing is entirely rational. As someone who has suffered depression in the past, I can say that I'm as undepressed as I have ever been and that the decision to terminate my own life was something of a relief.

                    In a nutshell, I suffer considerable pain from spinal stenosis (a form of osteoarthritis). There is no medical reason I need suffer this pain, but the law, doctors etc conspire to restrict my access to pain-relieving medication because junkies obtain pleasure by injecting these substances into their veins.

                    When the pain becomes unbearable I will cease eating and drinking, and I'm assured some two weeks after this will die. It's legal, effective and rates a 9 out of 10 for quality of death from those caring for the dying.

                    1. handleoclast Silver badge

                      Re: Presumably, Jake ...

                      @Pompous Git

                      Sorry to hear about your problems.

                      the decision to terminate my own life was something of a relief.

                      Apparently a lot of people feel a weight taken off them once they make the decision that, when the time comes, they'll take a quick and easy way out rather than a lingering, debilitating, painful one. So much so that, once they realize that it's possible and they have the will to do it, they no longer feel the urgency and can tolerate discomfort more easily than before.

                      That said, I think I'd wait to find out how much fun the opiods are before committing myself.

                      Which reminds me, marijuana is found by some to deal more effectively with some types of pain than opioids can. But if you find it works for you don't tell the doctors because they'll give you fun opioids too (sell them on if you don't find them enjoyable).

                      The best quick suicide weapon is a shotgun through the roof of the mouth.

                      More awkward than having the shotgun under the jaw.

                      Either way can fail. Do it wrong and you end up blowing your front teeth and nose off, or blowing your jaw off. And now I've said that, anyone with a basic knowledge of physics can figure out the difference between the right and wrong way to do it. One of Newton's laws and one of Archimedes' laws and you can figure it out.

                      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                        Re: Presumably, Jake ...

                        "Sorry to hear about your problems."
                        Don't be too fussed handleoclast. I've had an interesting life and hopefully it won't be curtailed for some time yet. I've outlived most of my close friends and my younger brother.

                        I already take opioids, oxycontin and codeine, but I don't find them fun at all. I find fighting constipation and constant drowsiness a tad boring. Marijuana (the high cannabinoid sort) works very well. The legal sort is not available to me; I'm neither officially terminally ill, or a juvenile. Despite the recent change in the law, as of last week no prescriptions have been issued. Mainly I suspect because it requires three doctors to sign off on one.

                        Thanks for the heads up on how to use the shotgun. Or should that be a heads off?

                        1. handleoclast Silver badge

                          Re: Presumably, Jake ...

                          @Pompous Git

                          I find fighting constipation and constant drowsiness a tad boring.

                          Yeah, both are very common side-effects of opiods. As is suppression of the breathing reflex. That last one is often the cause of death if you overdose on them.

                          A possible fix for the constipation is lots of chilli in your food. It irritates the bowels, causing mucous secretion, which loosens faecal matter. Works well for my haemorrhoids, lubricating things enough that they no longer cause problems. However, don't overdo the chillis, otherwise if you cough hard you end up walking like a penguin to get a change of underwear.

                          As for the heads off, I figured that out many years ago. Caught something on TV (it was back when I had a TV, so many, many years ago) about some farmer whose farm was going bust shooting his jaw off with a shotgun. How humiliating: you decide to kill yourself because you're a failure and you fail at it. Enough to make you want to kill yourself. It was easy enough to figure out what he'd done wrong and how to do it right. Top tip: if you decide to go that way, do it outside, because otherwise you leave somebody with a very unpleasant redecorating job.

              3. Timmy B Silver badge

                Re: Presumably, Jake ...

                @Prst. V

                re: "I always assumed that the "killed by own weapon" stats were...."

                You'd be wrong.

            2. handleoclast Silver badge

              Re: Presumably, Jake ...

              @Timmy B

              They are not killed by their own weapons they are killed by themselves using their own weapons.

              That may be true for cases of people dealing with intruders. However, take a look at the suicide statistics. A lot of gun fatalities in the US are suicides.

              Oh, and then there are the frequent cases when a child gets hold of the gun and accidentally kills somebody. Which reminds me of one of my uncles. Many years ago, long before drink-driving became illegal, some people drove home after a heavy night of boozing. My uncle was one such. One day I heard how his young son had somehow climbed into the car, released the handbrake, and it rolled downhill and caused damage to the car and whatever it hit. Only years later did I find out that "the kid did it" was the cover story told to the police and everyone else and what really happened was that my uncle did it after driving home pissed out of his skull. So I have my doubts about the veracity of the many stories of children accidentally firing guns and killing people.

        6. AlexGreyhead

          Re: Presumably, Jake ...

          I thought it was rappers, not guns, which killed people...? (Or is it "wabbits"? The enunciation is poor on that song I'm thinking of...)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Presumably, Jake ...

            The gun argument can be settled with the following options.

            1 Guns for anyone.

            2 No Guns for Anyone.

            3 Guns for all except, minors, people with mental health problems, domestic abuser, criminals and no automatic weapons or modifications designed to kill lots of people, it's the right to bear "arms" not "armies". The right to bear arms is for self protections and potentially to keep government in check.

            4 Carry on as you are.

            Personally if I was America I would choose option 3 and would put it that no one can give me any rational argument against those exclusions.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: Presumably, Jake ...

              "Guns for all except, minors, people with mental health problems, domestic abuser, criminals and no automatic weapons or modifications designed to kill lots of people"
              Good luck with that, or should that be "happy wishful thinking"? Criminals by definition do not obey the law and that includes gun laws. Mental health problems often happen to people who have previously been perfectly well mentally.

            2. Captain Obvious

              Re: Presumably, Jake ...

              Few interesting things to add to the topic:

              1) Switzerland is also a gun nut country

              2) About 22% of deaths by gun there are also suicides

              3) Almost every household has guns in Switzerland

              4) Homicides are far lower there than in most other countries

              Cons of this is that it appears to increase suicides as they have the means right there. However, I wonder if suicide rates are the same in countries that ban guns as people may use other methods.

              Pros seem to be low crime and low number of homicides in Switzerland.

              Take it for what it is, but America is not the only gun obsessed country.

        7. Lotaresco

          Re: Presumably, Jake ...

          "I infer from your question that you believe guns do fire themselves at people?"

          There are many documented cases of exactly that happening.

          Sten guns will fire without human intervention and the Heckler & Koch G11 was infamous for "cooking off" and shooting people without being touched by a human being.

          Your question seems to imply that these things never happened.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Presumably, Jake ...

            @ Lotaresco

            Just to add to your point, when I was a teenager a neighbour shot himself in the back with a shotgun. He was driving at the time and the shottie was on the back seat of the car pointing at his lower back. Why it was cocked and unlocked is likely because he was a complete and utter fuckwit. He didn't survive.

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

        ... you also agree that guns don't kill people, people kill people.

        Mostly it's people + guns that kill people, but good luck with banning people.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

          It's rappers, I saw it in a documentary on BBC2.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

            No, no, no. Rappers kill other rappers. Seems reasonable.

        2. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

          but good luck with banning people.

          Damn! That was going to be my suggested solution!

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

          "Mostly it's people + guns that kill people, but good luck with banning people."

          let's ban ROCKS, too, while we're at it - because some border patrol agents were recently killed by ROCKS...

          and we'll ban knives, and cars, and airplanes, and ...

          1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

            Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

            let's ban ROCKS, too, while we're at it - because some border patrol agents were recently killed by ROCKS...

            and we'll ban knives, and cars, and airplanes, and ...

            ...all of the things that are well known for their being designed to kill people?

            Oh wait.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

        "Presumably, Danny 14 ... you also agree that guns don't kill people, people kill people."

        Guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people.

        By the thousand in America.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

          “They say that 'Guns don't kill people, people kill people.' Well I think the gun helps. If you just stood there and yelled BANG, I don't think you'd kill too many people.” - Eddie Izzard

          (Yes, I couldn't help quoting my favourite British transvestite comedian commenting on US gun control. Try not to explode Big John)

      4. jmch Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

        People (without guns) kill people (mostly) individually and with difficulty

        People (with guns) kill people with great ease and in large numbers

        Guns don't kill people, but they sure make it a hell of a lot easier. Which is by design not by any sort of accident

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

          As Dick Solomon (3RFTS) put it, "Guns don't kill people, physics kills people!"

      5. Nolveys Silver badge

        Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

        you also agree that guns don't kill people, people kill people.

        Guns don't kill people, Americans kill people.

      6. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

        ... you also agree that guns don't kill people, people kill people.

        Exactly, and that's why we need severe gun laws ...Imho, the people who buy guns need to be locked up, never mind big or small ... but I understand that that is just me ... anybody should be allowed to scare off intruders with military-grade assault rifles, it is in the second modification to the bill of rights.

        Seriously, not doing away with over-the-counter assault or automatic rifles is severely brain-dead ... you know, the sort of kit that easily allows you to kill hundreds of people in no time .... who's house gets "invaded" by hundreds of burglars at once ? Besides, are you a responsible gun owner, like, the type that keeps his guns out of reach of children, locked up in a safe ?

        For more insightful arguments :

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rR9IaXH1M0

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

          Your ignorance is laughable, and most people who are morons seem to be for some form of gun control, probably a belated recognition of their own inability to control themselves and a need to be told what to do.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

            most people who are morons seem to be for some form of gun c̶o̶n̶t̶r̶o̶l̶ ownership.

            FTFY.

          2. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

            "Your ignorance is laughable, and most people who are morons seem to be for some form of gun control, probably a belated recognition of their own inability to control themselves and a need to be told what to do."

            No offence, but you are a fucking idiot. I'm for gun control not because I don't trust myself around guns, I think I'd be fine with them. I'm for gun control because I don't trust you, and if the price of you not being allowed to have a gun is that I can't have one, then I'm fine with that.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

              DavCrav, Thomas Jefferson said: "Those who would trade safety for freedom deserve neither." I concur.

              (I'll bet some of you were expecting the usual mangled Franklin quote ... )

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Thomas Jefferson

                "(I'll bet some of you were expecting the usual mangled Franklin quote ... )"
                Jake, you'll need to give a reference for that. The original quote "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" occurs in a letter written on behalf of the Pennsylvania Assemby.

                The thought was used on more than one occasion by Franklin though often cast in different words. The exact quote was on the title page of Richard Jackson's An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania (1759) published by Franklin with some additional matter he attributed to himself.

        2. Long John Brass Silver badge

          Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

          @Hans 1

          Imho, the people who buy guns need to be locked up, never mind big or small

          Lots of farmers in prison in your perfect world? I'm not suggesting that some sane form of firearm control that limits the number of nut jobs with automatic firearms is a bad thing; But! Firearms are a valid and useful tool in the hands of someone with the requisite number of genes and a little training.

          Knee jerk reactions like ban em all is just as bad

          1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

            There are people or jobs which have a legitimate requirement for gun ownership/use.

            Defense forces - to shoot invaders/threats to national security

            Offensive forces - to shoot people in order to further political/strategic goals

            Police forces - to shoot dangerous criminals (not including unarmed non resisting non threatening confused people, or women in pajamas, to pick an example at random)

            Shooting sports competitors - for the glory of whoever they may be representing

            Agricultural and pest controllers - to shoot vermin

            Private citizens - to shoot corrupt or incompetent elected or public officials.

            Sadly the last group are failing dismally in the performance of their duties

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

              "Agricultural and pest controllers - to shoot vermin

              Private citizens - to shoot corrupt or incompetent elected or public officials.

              Sadly the last group are failing dismally in the performance of their duties"

              Actually we would shoot the vermin in the last group if it was legal to do so. Make it legal, but don't stand in the way while we rush to perform our duties; you might just get knocked over...

      7. TheProf

        Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

        "guns don't kill people"

        I think it's the bullets that do most of the damage.

    3. JLV Silver badge

      Reading this I was thinking a bit of the ol' Niven & Pournelle quip: "evolution in action" at first.

      But... the person dying is not necessarily the distracted driver.

    4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      That depends.

      If Pokemon Go was a gun, it would have killed NOONE.

      Because it is a game, the idea that it may somehow be involved can be contemplated without the NRA demonstrating outside your premises.

    5. DavCrav Silver badge

      In the same way as seatbelts don't save lives, people save lives?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I can't believe we are having a discussion on whether inanimate objects kill or save people.

        Some object save more than others and some kill more than others.

        So for example more people are killed by guns than by standing on a rake but than again I've never been shot in my garden or threatened with a rake.

        Take from this what you will, it made no sense when I was typing it which probably sums up the original argument.

      2. Chemical Bob
        Boffin

        Re: seatbelts don't save lives, people save lives?

        Yes, people who wear seatbelts save their own lives.

    6. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

      "pokemon go killed noone. idiots killed themselves surely?"

      I wonder how it measures up against people using their phones for other activities, such as texting and browsing whilst in or around traffic?

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's no one, not "noone". *shakes fist at screen furiously*

      1. handleoclast Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: It's no one, not "noone".

        Thanks for that. I have taken my collection of Herman's Hermits records and amended the artist's name to "Peter No one."

    8. Boo Radley

      Guns Don't Kill People

      Guns don't kill people, Amerikan cops kill people!

    9. Lotaresco

      "pokemon go killed noone."

      No it didn't he's still alive, is Mr Noone.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pokémon GO : Gotta crash em all.

    1. aks Bronze badge

      So, is this Pokemon GO "The Carmageddon edition"?

  3. jake Silver badge

    Anyone really surprised?

    I've seen many people "playing" the game dart into traffic without looking ... and that's on foot. Throwing a car into the mix is just asking for trouble.

    1. Snivelling Wretch

      Re: Anyone really surprised?

      This is a good point, because from reading the article I don't think there would be any way to distinguish between an accident caused by a driver playing the game, or by a pedestrian walking into the road whilst playing it.

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Anyone really surprised?

      Which is why Pokémon Go will degrade as speed increases. Now I don't know about the US, but I'd expect any significant proportion of people driving at 9mph to keep their app working to attract attention.

    3. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: Anyone really surprised?

      Throwing a car into the mix is just asking for trouble.

      You have never been to Holland, with the sales guy (presumably) holding a mobile between shoulder and ear taking notes on a notepad ... all while doing 120 km/h (75 m/h) on the highway then, have you ? Besides, Pokemon Go stops working when you move too fast ... I think 20km/h (12 m/h) is enough to disable the game...

    4. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Anyone really surprised?

      "Throwing a car into the mix is just asking for trouble."
      Also well beyond most people's capabilities... Unless you happen to be The Hulk or similar.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't mix virtual reality with the real world

    First time I saw someone fire up pokemon go walked outside and hit their head due to focus on screen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't mix virtual reality with the real world

      The computer game WatchDogs, set in the real world, plays on the virtual reality trope. It gives a good example of the dangers.

      In the game, you can walk into a market square or busy park, load up the "VR app", and it puts an overlay on people, making them the "bad guys". You then "Shoot" them with your mobile phone/VR headset.

      There are already some games that try to imitate this idea with phones or mixed reality devices. How dangerous would it be to train a large subset of the population to have a trigger finger in such situations.

      We are no longer talking "it's just a game", with VR and/or the right peripherals, we end up training muscle memory too... something that is hard to untrain if a situation changes.

      1. Graham Dawson

        Re: Don't mix virtual reality with the real world

        Airsoft and paintball have got a few decades on your hypothetical horror story.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Don't mix virtual reality with the real world

          Not in the slightest unless you play paintball in the local shopping mall.

          Mixed reality has a massive risk factor. No more than say, a car travelling at 60mph. But it is one that if not checked, just as a car at 60mph with no breaks, no seatbelts and a wobbly blown out tire, could be dangerous...

          ... like walking off into traffic because the game overlaid your high score!

  5. Adam 52 Silver badge

    Don't they teach statistics or science at Purdue then?

  6. Khaptain Silver badge

    Old News

    Niantic have put measures in place, since quite some time, that stop actions being performed when they detect that your speed is above a certain limit 7 mph ( or 7 kph).. They don't even want to allow you to play whilst riding a bike hence the 7 mph/kph limit...

    So I can only suggest that this is old news and reports that are only surfacing now have little relevance other than making someones job seem worthwhile...

  7. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    Niantic has also altered the code so that once you start moving over a certain speed, it will not show Pokemons or let you interact with Pokestops or gyms until you've been stopped (or at least sufficiently slowed) for several seconds. 20 or so, I've not timed it. It's actually kind of annoying if you're legitimately a passenger trying to grab some Pokestuff while you're riding, but it makes sense as it makes trying to play while driving useless.

  8. Alister Silver badge

    Headline

    I know El Reg is prone to a bit of artistic licence, not to say exaggeration, but how do you get from 2 fatalities to "hundreds of deaths"?

    1. Aqua Marina

      Re: Headline

      El Reg didn't conclude that, the researchers did. Re-read the second to last paragraph.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Headline

      Easy! By reading the whole article with a little attention before firing up the Commentard-o-fone (please peruse penultimate paragraph particularly precisely)

    3. lsces

      Re: Headline

      It's not El Reg making that conclusion - it's the reports authors based on scaling countrywide? May be a little far fetched, but not unreasonable. It would be useful to know though if the fatalities WERE the drivers or innocent third parties!

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: Headline

        There, however, is supposed to be a difference between journalism and simply cutting and pasting any old rubbish into a website. One could quite reasonably expect some intellectual examination of the claims, or at least some quotation marks in the headline.

        Otherwise there's no difference between a newspaper and a Facebook post.

    4. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Headline

      Okay, mea culpa. Not enough coffee yet this morning, I apologise to El Reg.

  9. ratfox Silver badge

    Everything has big effects when on that scale

    When Google put a pacman game on their home page, it reportedly cost $120 million in productivity...

  10. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    Cleaning in progess

    OK, so the gene-pool boy has got round to doing a bit of cleaning at the shallow end.

    Is this a bad thing?

    Is Pokemon really a tool of Eugenics?

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Cleaning in progess

      You're assuming that the deaths are those playing, not those outside the car where the driver is 'playing'.

      Gene Pool Cleaning only works if there is a positive correlation between the 'dirt' you are trying to clean out and the removal process...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Cleaning in progess

        "Gene Pool Cleaning only works if there is a positive correlation between the 'dirt' you are trying to clean out and the removal process."

        There probably is. Correlation does not mean causation equivalence.

    2. Mark #255

      Re: Cleaning in progess

      Because, of course, ALL people near Pokestops are players of the game.

      And not one of them might be simply passing by.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cleaning in progess

        >And not one of them might be simply passing by.

        Apparently those people should have known better than to be simply passing by a Pokedeath stop. hrmph

  11. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge

    I'm more interested

    In why the overall accident rate soared.

    The report seemed to state that accidents in the whole area increased significantly, but more significantly near these pokey whatsits.

    I would also be interested to see what happened afterwards. Did the statistcs level out once the craze had died down? Did overall accidents decrease?

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: I'm more interested

      I would also be interested to see what happened afterwards. Did the statistcs level out once the craze had died down? Did overall accidents decrease?

      If a high rate of accidents at the pokey holes continued could you really determine there was no correlation or that the really determined were still playing, increasingly oblivious, desperate for harder to obtain level ups.

  12. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

    Guns don't kill people...

    ... but guns are designed for the purpose of killing things, especially people, and cars etc. are not. This makes the comparison a false equivalence and I wish gun-fans would stop making it.

    1. W4YBO

      Re: Guns don't kill people...

      That's interesting. Over 44 years of shooting, exactly three of my rounds of ammunition have been used to kill something (a rabid raccoon and an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake). I also displayed my pistol once (not drawn) to diffuse a situation in which someone might have been killed.

      My vehicles, over a somewhat shorter time period, have slaughtered millions of insects, a bunny, a couple of squirrels, and possibly a deer that ran off after I hit it.

      I guess we don't necessarily have to use a device as it was designed.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Guns don't kill people...

        "Over 44 years of shooting, exactly three of my rounds of ammunition have been used to kill something"
        Over 50 years of shooting and mostly managed to kill what I was shooting at — mostly vermin. Then there were the sheep for eating. A relatively peaceful way for a sheep to die. Mostly people eat sheep that are transported across country in a truck which they find very stressful. Then they get to hang around listening to their fellow sheep being killed and smelling their blood. Very stressful again.

  13. Mark M.

    Blaming the wrong tool

    Most Pokemon gyms & stops are at places where youths would normally congregate at anyway, so a fair number of them could have been killed while obsessing over something other than Pokemon Go. Like social media apps or sexting on their mobiles while arranging to meet their family, friends, boyfriend, girlfriend at the aforementioned places.

    There's no real evidence other than just a random co-incidence unless the researcher has hard and fast evidence that the last app open on the unfortunate's mobile was indeed Pokemon Go. Which I very seriously doubt.

    1. no-one in particular

      Re: Blaming the wrong tool

      > Most Pokemon gyms & stops are at places where youths would normally congregate at anyway,

      Do you have evidence to share with us that is the case?

      > There's no real evidence other than just a random co-incidence unless the researcher has hard and fast evidence that the last app open on the unfortunate's mobile was indeed Pokemon Go.

      That would only be true if _every_ place where youths normally congregate was also a Pokemon place.

      Otherwise, you divvy up the location into the (for this case) 4 groups based upon combinations of two simple yes/no variables and ta-da you have controls against which your stats can be calculated. No need to look at the mobile phones.

  14. adam payne Silver badge

    Pokémon GO killed at least two people and spiked rates of car accidents and injuries, according to a study of the game's impact on just one United States city.

    Pokemon Go didn't kill anyone, these people made a choice, the wrong choice.

    Messing with your phone while driving or distracting the driver is dangerous not only for yourself but for other road users.

    1. no-one in particular

      @adam payne

      "These people made a choice" ?

      As has been pointed out above, the ones who made the choice to play Pokemon whilst in a car aren't likely to be the ones who were killed.

  15. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Well, it does make a change from death by Powerpoint.

  16. Mage Silver badge

    Pokémon GO killed at least two people and spiked rates of car accidents

    No, it didn't.

    People being really irresponsible did.

    It's not the same issue as gun control.

    People are doing it with texting, video, satnav, twitter, facebook, etc as well as voice calls.

  17. jonfr

    Several bodies

    There was also discovery of several bodies due to this game.

    Source 1, https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/why-pokemon-go-players-are-going-to-keep-finding-dead-bodies

    Source 2, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-san-diego-dead-body-pokemon-go-20160715-snap-story.html

    I do wonder what other things Pokemon go players found out the wild.

  18. jsmith757

    Smell Test

    Tippecanoe County has a population of 185,000 people, 12,000 detailed police reports???, something does not pass the smell test...

    1. EveryTime Silver badge

      Re: Smell Test

      I agree -- this does not look like a credible result. Instead it looks like 'researchers' making outlandish claims to get attention.

      As the saying goes: extraordinary claims requires extraordinary proof. Surprising results are a reason to do a carefully planned, directed study. Not a reason to send off press releases.

      As for economic impact and risk, that is *really* difficult to estimate and easily manipulated. Is going for a walk better than watching TV while eating chocolate covered bacon? You are vastly less likely to be hit by a car while watching TV, and being hit by a car can cost millions in medical bills and lost productivity.

  19. jsmith757

    Could have been Ingress

    Are the research sure it wasnt Ingress which possibly influenced the observed increase of accidents based off of statistical analysis?

  20. DougS Silver badge
    Trollface

    I would suggest "Darwin award"

    But let's be honest, people so into Pokemon Go they managed to get run over by a car or walk off a cliff were never going to reproduce anyway!

    1. Lotaresco

      Re: I would suggest "Darwin award"

      "But let's be honest, people so into Pokemon Go they managed to get run over by a car or walk off a cliff were never going to reproduce anyway!"

      Needs an edit:

      "But let's be honest, people into Pokemon Go were never going to reproduce anyway!"

      Better.

  21. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    New driving test

    Final driving test is to navigate a winding road lined with concrete pillars while the instructor calls and texts your cellphone. Let the idiots kill themselves before they're out on the road killing others.

  22. fobobob

    Driver

    Priority 1: Drive the car.

    Priority 2: Navigate, where #1 can be achieved.

    Priority 3: Anything else that doesn't interfere with the other two.

    I was going to write a longer comment, but then I decided I'll just summarize:

    Drive the damn car; if you play video games while attempting to operate a car, you're a fucking imbecile.

    If people would take more concern with how their actions *might* affect others, the desire for the nanny-state might actually be lessened.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Driver

      I do wish people would start treating cars more like aircraft (aviate, navigate, communicate), you took the words out of my.. finger tips?

  23. herman Silver badge

    Tip a Canoe County

    So, these people cannot even canoe, nevermind drive. That makes the whole survey a little bit suspicious, doesn't it?

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