Since the release of Pokemon Go in the summer of 2016, stories about deaths, injuries and even prison sentences due to this game have been constantly coming up in the news.
The causes of fatal accidents are different. For example, a 67-year-old Singaporean resident, a level 28 player with more than 200 Pokemon in the collection, died of a heart attack
when he suddenly saw the ice Pokemon Lapras. But the 20-year-old British teenager was killed in a fight
for a rare pokemon.
On the Internet, a sad counter works Pokemon Go Death Tracker
. It lists all known cases of death and injury. Currently 15 and 55, respectively.
But most of all deaths and injuries associated with the accident. Usually cars knock down pedestrians who are buried in a smartphone and not paying attention to the world around cross the roadway. Not all such stories get into the media. What is the real mortality statistics?
Scientists at Purdue American University studied 12,000 police reports on traffic accidents in Tippekanu County, Indiana. They published a scientific paper
with the provocative title Death for Pokemon Go. This is an analysis of how many people could have died in traffic accidents because of the game.
The researchers collected statistics on road accidents for several months before and after July 6, 2016, when the official premiere took place. Then correlated the coordinates of the incidents with the coordinates of the pokestop - those places where there are various game items, including pokeball. For example, in Russia, pokesouts were located near each branch of Sberbank and not only.
The goal was to determine whether the increase in the frequency of accidents correlates with the location of the pokestop. As it turned out, the correlation really is. Although after the release of Pokemon Go, the number of traffic accidents increased throughout the district, but it increased significantly within 100 meters from the pokestop (+ 26.5%). The authors of the scientific work calculated that this “extra” increase in comparison with the average increase in the whole district corresponds to 134 “extra” accidents in the 148-day interval immediately after the game was released. Extrapolation of data from the entire database of reports makes it possible to calculate what these 134 "extra" accidents mean, which could have been without Pokemon Go:
- 134 "additional" accidents
- property damage of about $ 500,000
- 31 injured
- 2 deaths
The authors applied regression analysis to take into account the possible influence of other variables on such an increase in traffic accidents precisely in the places where the pokestop are located. For example, they calculated the possible influence of the weather, the time of school changes, and so on, but did not find any other statistically significant factor other than the above.
There are other factors that indicate that the increase in traffic accidents is associated with the game. Thus, the frequency of "extra" accidents correlates with the number of players (Daily Active Users), which reached its peak in July, shortly after launch, and then gradually decreased until November - the last month, during which researchers analyzed police reports.
In addition, the frequency of accidents also correlated with the distance from the pokestop: it increased more than 50 meters from it and less than 500 meters from it.
In short, this analysis almost unambiguously makes it possible to attribute this increase in traffic accidents to the Pokemon Go game, in which many people literally were obsessed with last summer.
The authors of scientific work warn that these calculations are extremely speculative, but nonetheless: if you extrapolate the Tippekanu district data to the whole country, you get a frightening picture of the number of "victims" of Pokemon Go:
- 145,000 "extra" accidents
- 29,000 injured
- 250 deaths
And this is only in the USA. But Pokemon Go was a very popular game in other countries. So around the world funny "pokmonchiki" claimed the lives of several thousand people.
Of course, one can argue: they say that people playing “Pokemon” have such an adaptability to life that even without this game they would find death sooner or later. But this is only an assumption, and scientists from Purdue University adhere to strict facts.