I'm not talking about the server outages that have been occurring due to the game's massive popularity. I'm talking about the players who have wandered - either by accident or intentionally - into sticky situations in pursuit of Pokemon. While certain placements have been merely inconvenient, others have led to players breaking the law, getting seriously injured, and even walking away fairly traumatized.
Be aware that due to the nature of the Internet, many of this incidents can't possibly be verified, especially those sourced from social networks. Nevertheless, here are the weirdest, funniest, and most horrifying places players have supposedly wound up.
A Police Station
Let's start here, since we reported this one earlier this week. The Darwin Police Station in northern Australia had to issue a press release asking players not to come inside the police station on their hunt for a nearby Sandshrew. The press release, which was helpful and good-natured, informed players that the Pokemon could be caught without going into the station itself.
While wandering through a graveyard won't get you into the same kind of trouble that wandering through a police station could, it's infinitely spookier. And in this specific instance, it wasn't a pokemon that the players were after, but an actual Pokemon GO Gym, which was placed smack dab in the middle of the graveyard. According to the comments on the original post, this was far from the only graveyard that contained Pokemon and Pokemon-related points of interest.
The Westboro Baptist Church
This one might be my favorite. There are plenty of reports of gyms and Pokestops showing up at churches, but this isn't any old church. The folks at the Westboro Baptist Church have earned a name for themselves for picketing funerals of fallen soldiers, celebrities, and other people of interest, but they're also known for their rampant homophobia, which is why it's so perfect that they happen to be a Pokemon GO gym that was recently taken over by a giant Clefairy named LoveIsLove, which is a motto associated with equal rights.
There's been a few of these. Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio sent an email to its staff with the subject "BE AWARE - POKEMON GAMERS MAY ATTEMPT TO ENTER SECURE AREAS" and I know it's a serious issue, but I'll be damned if that isn't really funny. The email also contains the line "...game encourages kids (and adults) to roam in public places..." and we all know it's the adults that are bold enough to sneak into restricted areas in search of pocket monsters.
Then there's Reddit user Bringther10t, who busted out his phone to catch a Pidgey in the very hospital room in which his wife was giving birth to their child. Fortunately for the father, the mother-to-be simply laughed it off.
When you fire up Pokemon GO, the loading screen reminds you to be aware of your surroundings. I've seen plenty of jokes about users almost walking into traffic because their eyes are glued to their smartphone screens, but Reddit user Amalthea actually wound up in the hospital after slipping and falling into a ditch while playing. They fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in their foot and will need 6-8 weeks to recover. When asked how to happened, they apparently lied and told doctors they were walking their dog.
The Discovery of a Dead Body
Chances are a lot of you are already aware of this story, but due to the weight of it, it only felt right to end on this particular incident. A 19-year-old woman from Riverton, Wyoming headed to a river near her house to find a Pokemon near a natural water resource. What she found instead was the dead body of a man floating in the water. She called 911 and law enforcement arrived shortly after, concluding that the death was accidental. As tragic as the story is, hopefully the discovery led to someone getting closure.
Pokemon GO has only been live for a few days now and the stories are bound to get crazier. Let us know any weird places you've ended up, and maybe we'll do a sequel article if we have enough crazy stories to warrant it.