While smartphone games can be an enjoyable pastime, personal injury can result while playing augmented reality games. Augmented reality games on smartphones have recently become a full-fledged cultural phenomenon. These games create an interactive experience where virtual objects are superimposed on a player’s real environment. For instance, Pokemon Go allows players to capture virtual Pokemon characters that are hiding in the real world by physically walking, driving, or biking around neighborhoods and city sidewalks where they appear. Likewise, Zombies, Run allows for an interactive running experience where players are chased by virtual zombies while they run in their real-world neighborhoods.

Doctors and psychologists agree that augmented reality games can have many positive psychological and physical benefits. However, personal injuries can happen as a direct result of augmented reality games. As a result, doctors have published information regarding the most common Pokemon Go injuries and how to avoid them. The most common injuries reported as a result of Pokemon Go are sunburn, skin damage, blisters, sprains, fractures, broken bones and game addiction.

Unfortunately, many accidents can happen as a result of the negligence of augmented reality game players. Many areas of personal injury have already dealt with lawsuits involving augmented reality, especially Pokemon Go. For instance, there have been several documented car accidents as a result of Pokemon Go. These type of augmented reality games require a certain level of alertness, causing individuals who are playing while driving to become distracted. If a driver is distracted while playing an augmented reality game and hits another driver, cyclist or pedestrian, then the driver will be held liable for any resulting damages.

Likewise, personal injury accidents such as slip and falls have occurred as a result of augmented reality games. If an individual is injured as a result of a slip and fall accident, they may have trouble being compensated for their injuries if the injuries were sustained while they were distracted playing an augmented reality game. Players should always be responsible,  alert and aware of their surroundings.

Many players of augmented reality games are children. Children don’t possess the level of attention or responsibility to always keep themselves from hazards such as busy streets. Additionally, children are more likely to enter unsafe locations while playing an augmented reality game. It is important for the parents of small children to watch them closely while they are playing these types of games. Always encourage your child to play with others so that if there is a personal injury, there will be someone who can alert an adult. If you purchased such a game for your children, make sure that any guest children are properly trained in the game and its dangers before you let them run around your house while playing the game.  

Wittmer|Linehan understands that we are living in an age of new and fascinating technology. However, as the number of augmented reality game players increases, the opportunity for personal injury rises. If you or a loved one are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence while playing Pokemon Go or any augmented reality game, it is critical that you speak with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney. Contact us at (941) 365-2296 to learn more about how we can help you.