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Gotta Catch Your Death: Report Estimates Pokémon Go Caused $7.3B Damage in 148 Days

According to a recent report, while some of us survived the insanity of peak Pokémon Go unscathed, others were not so lucky.

 

As you sit, or stand, or however you read this, take stock of your limbs, and indeed your possessions. If you have the usual amount, then consider yourself lucky. Consider yourself fortunate enough to not be immolated by the flames of fate. You survived the year of Pokémon Go. Well done, you.

However, there are some who weren’t as fortunate. Those who merely attempted to catch them all, but instead caught hefty insurance premiums, or indeed their deaths. A pioneering pair of individuals, seemingly immune to the impulsive whims the rest of us are subject to have taken it upon themselves to calculate the bill, filling in the pages of a report they’ve subtly titled Death by Pokémon Go.

In an effort to estimate the tip, Purdue University economists (and hyperbole enthusiasts) Mara Faccio and John McConnell combed through accident reports from Tippecanoe County, Indiana, in the first 148 days after the game was released.

Now, despite such a shallow pool of data, mined from an unknown backwater, the numbers are staggering as the pair deduced that anywhere between $5.2-$25.5 million dollars of damage spoiled the streets of Tippecanoe County. Crunching the numbers, that equates to roughly $7.3 billion across the expanse of the United States. That’s billion with a “b.” The report indicates that Pokéstops are to blame. For those playing at home, Pokéstops are geolocated curios where you can pick up crucial items, colloquially known as the sign over my back fence, and what are you bloody kids doing down there that time of night?

The pair deduced that anywhere between $5.2-$25.5 million dollars of damage spoiled the streets of Tippecanoe County. Crunching the numbers, that equates to roughly $7.3 billion across the expanse of the United States.

As a safety precaution, the creators of Pokémon Go ensured that you could not participate in a gym battle moving at a rapid clip, which would stop the lazy and the foolhardy from taking a drive-by approach to attain Pokémon notoriety, however that didn’t extend to the more humble (and far more numerous) Pokéstops. Cue the symphony of twisted metal capped by the high soprano of awkward explanatory phone calls to your insurer. Or to the next of kin.

According to the doomcresting report, 286 additional crashes occurred in Tippecanoe County compared to the year before. Of these, 134 were near Pokéstops. In this scenario, the blame is clear, as it’s now crucial to determine which finger to point at the Pokémons. That being said, perhaps the blame should also be attached to the victims, as they knew the risks when entering the hunt. That, or going outside.

You see what happens when you try and mesh gaming with exercise, Mom?

 

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