Hurt Pokemon players make ACC claims

ACC has received a small number of claims for Pokemon Go-related injuries since the game was launched on July 6.
ACC has received a small number of claims for Pokemon Go-related injuries since the game was launched on July 6.

A smattering of eager Pokemon Go players are hurting themselves - and costing taxpayers.

ACC has received a small number of claims for Pokemon Go-related injuries since the game was launched on July 6. All claims have been for soft tissue or sprain injuries as a result of the player falling or tripping while engrossed in the game.

Kiwis have gone crazy for the augmented reality app, with thousands exploring the real world to capture the virtual Pokemon characters.

While the New Zealand injuries have been minor, players have got into more strife overseas. One Reddit user said they ended up in ER after slipping and falling down a ditch while trying to "catch 'em all".

"Fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in my foot, 6-8 weeks for recovery," the user said. "I told all the doctors I was walking my dog."

A police spokeswoman said details of whether there had been any Pokemon Go-related crashes were not readily available.

However, police have warned players to watch out for real-world hazards while hunting Pokemon.

"Don't let your pursuit of virtual monsters get you into real strife. Never use your phone while driving; don't step into the road without looking; watch out for others - particularly if they've got their noses buried in their phones; be aware of what's happening around you; and respect other people and their property."

Drivers caught playing Pokemon Go face being fined $80 and 20 demerit points for using their mobile phone while driving.

The Electricity Engineers' Association has warned people to stay out of the danger zones after a group of young Pokemon Go players wandered into a restricted area of an electricity company.

The association's executive director, Peter Berry, said electrical company sites posed several hazards.

Meanwhile, Parliament has tweeted an invitation to Pokemon Go players to capture Pokemon inside Parliament this weekend. The official Parliament account tweeted: "Out playing #PokemonGO in Wellington this weekend? Plenty of Pidgey hanging around Parliament. Catch 'em all for us!"

The tweet includes pictures of two Pidgey characters inside Parliament.

- NZ Herald

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