Chasing that elusive Pikachu comes at a high price, apparently.
“Pokemon Go” players wracked up between $2 billion and $7.3 billion in damages last year, according to a recent study from resarchers at Purdue University.
Subtly titled “Death By Pokémon GO,” the study looked at 12,000 accidents in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and compared them against “Pokestops,” locations where game players could track down their prized digital Pokémon.
The results were alarming: Purdue found a stark 26.5 percent increase in accidents within 100 meters of Pokéstops. Researchers suggested that 134 accidents in Tippecanoe County — including 31 injuries, and two “incremental” deaths — might be pegged to playing “Pokemon Go.”
Between $5 million and $25 million in additional damages hit the county, according to the study. When that one county’s figures were extrapolated nationwide, it reached the billions of dollars in damages and lost potential income from the drivers killed.
The study, spearheaded by Mara Faccio and John J. McConnell, said its numbers were “speculative,” but also added, “however measured, the costs are significant.”
Niantic Labs, the creator of the game, did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
“Pokemon Go” was a phenomenon when it launched during summer 2016, with 65 million people still playing months after its release.
Players chased down artificial reality versions of Pokémon by foot and added them to their virtual collection. The movement was so big it inspired its own $20-t0-enter festival in Chicago this past summer — although it was marred by poor cell service and led to Niantic CEO John Hanke getting booed on stage.
6 Tech Giants Shaking Up News, From Jeff Bezos to Laurene Powell Jobs (Photos)
Tech leaders are increasingly intertwined with the news business. While some want to support old properties, one set out to destroy a new one. Here they are.
Jeff Bezos – Washington Post
The Amazon founder purchased the Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million in cash. President Trump has called the paper the “Amazon Washington Post.”
The Facebook co-founder purchased The New Republic in 2012, becoming executive chairman and publisher. However, he sold the venerable political magazine to Win McCormack in 2016, saying he "underestimated the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate."
The eBay founder is a well-known philanthropist who created First Look Media, a journalism venture behind The Intercept. Inspired by Edward Snowden's leaks. Omidyar teamed up with journalists Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras to launch the website “dedicated to the kind of reporting those disclosures required: fearless, adversarial journalism.”
The PayPal co-founder doesn’t own a news organization, but he makes this list because he essentially ended one -- Gawker -- proving once again the power of an angry billionaire. Thiel secretly bankrolled Hulk Hogan’s sex-tape lawsuit against Gawker Media because he was upset that the website once outed him as gay. Hogan won the defamation lawsuit against the site that sent its parent company into bankruptcy, and Gawker.com is no longer operating.
OK, so Facebook isn’t technically a news organization… yet. However, the company is preparing to launch its much-anticipated lineup of original content later this summer, and there are also signs that it's on the verge of becoming an even bigger media platform.
Campbell Brown, Head of News Partnerships at Facebook, confirmed last week it’s developing a subscription service for publishers willing to post articles directly to Facebook Instant Articles, rather than their native websites.