‘Pokémon Go’ Reportedly Caused Millions, And Perhaps Even Billions, Of Dollars Of Damage In 2016
According to a new report, at height of its craze in 2016 people playing Pokémon Go caused millions, and perhaps even billions of dollars in damage. Based on the footage and other stories we saw during that time period showing stampedes of people, people being run over by cars, lawsuits, and uncontrollable mobs, it’s pretty hard to doubt the veracity of this latest information.
The report, put together by Purdue University economists Mara Faccio and John McConnell and frighteningly titled “Death by Pokemon Go,” gathered data from accident reports in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, over the first 148 days following the release of Pokémon Go.
What they discovered was, to say the least, very startling.
Based on detailed police accident reports for Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and using the introduction of the virtual reality game Pokémon GO as a natural experiment, we document a disproportionate increase in vehicular crashes and associated vehicular damage, personal injuries, and fatalities in the vicinity of locations, called PokéStops, where users can play the game while driving.
The results are robust to using points of play, called Gyms, that cannot be used to play the game while driving as a placebo.
We estimate the total incremental county-wide cost of users playing Pokémon GO while driving, including the value of the two incremental human lives lost, to be in the range of $5.2 million to $25.5 million over only the 148 days following the introduction of the game.
Extrapolation of these estimates to nation-wide levels yields a total ranging from $2 to $7.3 billion for the same period.
While the dollar amounts are incredibly shocking, what they didn’t extrapolate in that last statement was the fact that, based on their study, approximately 256 additional deaths may have been caused nationwide thanks to people playing Pokémon Go during that 148-day time period.
People. Despite what you’ve been told, you really don’t have to catch ’em all.
H/T The Verge