Professional gamer gives Pokemon Go players advice on staying safe while playing the newest craze

Posted at 4:29 PM, Jul 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-11 18:14:38-04
It's a new craze, but dangers surround the Pokemon Go mobile game.

After Pokemon Go debuted last week -- millions downloaded the gaming app.

Brian Ambrozy, a professional gamer, said, "Every where I go I see people playing. Within 24 hours they had several million players in the US."

This game hasn't gone global yet. It's only available in a limited number of markets, including the US and Australia.

Pokemon Go uses location services and your camera to create a life-like game.

"You walk around with your phone outdoors and find Pokemon - the little monsters from video games and cartoons - and when you find one on your phone, you can catch it with your phone and you can collect them."

You will find the characters in public locations and landmarks, chosen by the gaming company.

"There are churches and murals along Woodward - if you go up and down Woodward," he said.  "Grand River creative corridor is a huge one, in New Center several churches."

It can be dangerous to play Pokemon Go if you are distracted.

"Walking off of a curb or walking into traffic, almost getting hit by a car, bumping into people. I actually witnessed, myself, a guy walking into a railing while he was staring at his phone."

Over the weekend, armed robbers lured victims in Missouri by using the app.

"When you go to a landmark you can drop a lure and that attracts Pokemon to that place and that also attracts players to that place," Ambrozy explained.  "If you wanted to rob them, you'd have an easier time or you would at least know that people are going to be there, walking around with their phones not paying attention."

Brian is a parent of two teenaged children who play the game.

He told them, "Be aware of your surroundings, it even says it when you load the game please be aware of your surroundings. It's the simplest advice. It's just like with anything with a cell phone, don't drive while your texting, don't play Pokemon while you are driving and make sure you don't walk off the dock into the river while you are playing."

Many police departments and online gaming sites have been offering safety tips when playing the game, most revolve around being distracted while walking.

Remember, you don't have to be glued to the screen. It is easy to catch a Pokemon once it because your phone will buzz if a character pops up.