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Winnipeg Police, RCMP Issue Pokémon Go Warning: Don’t Catch and Drive

July 13, 2016 11:30 AM | News

The latest Pokémon Go craze has sparked safety warnings from both Winnipeg police and Manitoba RCMP.

The two police agencies sent out separate tweets on Wednesday, warning citizens not to “catch and drive.”

So, what is Pokémon Go? Glad you asked.

It’s a free iOS and Android augmented reality game where users play to catch virtual Poke Balls, which are set out at various landmarks and public locations in real life. Essentially, it eliminates the excuse to sit on your couch and play the game.

Pokémon Go uses your phone’s GPS and clock in order to decide which Pokémon to show, mixing in real-world elements.

The app isn’t officially available in Canada yet. Only players in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and Japan can legally access it. Users north of the border have been downloading the app by creating a U.S. iTunes account in order to download Pokémon Go.

The game has already been reported to be responsible for a number of player injuries, including sprained ankles, broken bones and bruised egos when users aren’t paying attention and step into hazards, such as holes in the road and in one case, a lake. Oops!

As with most other smartphone apps, the message remains clear: keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings. Like the police say, don’t “catch and drive.”