Pokemon Go has been taking the world by storm over the past few months. The free, location-based game that augments reality to encourage players to catch Pokemon has revived older fan bases that loved Pokemon as children, in addition to younger new fans that are eager to join the Pokemon revolution. Pokemon Go essentially utilizes a mobile phone’s GPS capabilities to allow players to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual Pokemon creatures that appear on the screen as if they really existed. The game requires movement is very competitive, inspiring millions of users to lace up their sneakers and go exploring in their communities.
Unfortunately, this caused negative repercussions earlier in August when Pokemon Go players broke down a fence and entered an active construction site in pursuit of virtual Pokemon that they believed to be on the property. According to authorities, more than 100 people playing Pokemon Go broke down the fence around 10 p.m in Bellevue. The construction site is the location of an $18 million project to build a promenade, walkway, grand entrance, water feature, terraced seating, and Inspiration Playground, all for disabled children.
According to a witness at the scene, “This has happened in this exact sport before, but players would just walk around the fence, which was maybe an extra 50 ft. of walking. This time, people started shaking the fence and pushing it until it fell over. That created a domino effect which resulted in the entire fence coming down. Then there was a mad rush of people stepping on the fence and running down into the area.”
This incident is an important reminder for two reasons. First, Pokemon Go players need to remember the significance of their surroundings and balance their priorities between catching Pokemon and respecting public venues. Second, fences serve very important purposes, especially for safety on potentially dangerous construction sites, and those in charge should always rely on an experienced fence company to build a security fence that can withstand such pressure.