Why playing Pokemon on the GO is plain dangerous

I GAVE the local constabulary some carbon dioxide the other night at a random breath test in Caloundra.  

I'm sure it wasn't the garlic prawns I'd got stuck into a few hours earlier but the constable operating the breathaliser looked a little clammy and started to act incoherently.  

For a split second, I thought surely the prawns didn't have any of grandma's secret ingredients of the alcoholic variety. Phew. Zero was the reading.  

Then the young constable mumbled something to me and gazed across Pumicestone Passage to the bright lights of Caloundra's town centre. He said it again. A bead of sweet appeared on his brow.  

I was about to call his mates over to provide some first aid, wracking my brain for the response to fainting.   

Ah that's right. Lay him down on his back. Bend his knees.  

I didn't want to have to explain to my wife that the smell of my garlic prawns on my breath was responsible for a forehead-sized dint on the bonnet of our car as our constable assumed his unceremonious fainted position, spread-eagled on Landsborough Parade. Both he and I would never hear the end of it.  

No. As I asked him to repeat himself slowly, the foreign tongues spoken became clearer: Pok-E-Mon.  

Like bluebottles when there's a south-easterly, it seems these virtual creatures are popping up along the Coast.

Apparently our constable spent the past three hours trying to prevent the loss of life from people walking, trotting and running around Caloundra with their smart phones, tracking down Venusaur, Charizard, Pikachu and friends.

VIDEO: The misadventures of people playing Pokemon Go

There's a significant risk of injury when playing this game. Street lamps, parked cars, even pandanus trees are all fair game for someone walking with purpose with their nose in an iPhone.  

Our Privacy Commissioner has called on the public to provide their two cents on the topic from a data perspective. But it seems the physical safety of one's own actions are of more immediate concern for authorities.  

For the council and utility providers, better make sure you've covered the manholes, filled the potholes, and consider footy post padding for the most obvious of our public space objects. If nothing else, Pokemon is sure to provide a decade of fodder for Funniest Home Videos content.  

Our constable's still recovering from this new virtual reality.    

Dr David Lacey is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of the Sunshine Coast and managing director of IDCARE.  

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