Uber offers Pokémon Go Service
Assuming that you haven’t been spending the past few days under a rock, then you will be well aware of the latest craze infesting the digital world – it is Pokémon Go. The latest incarnation of the previously beloved video game appears on smartphones and requires the player to get out into the fresh air and actually exercise whilst playing, which is of course a relatively new concept for a video game. The shear effort of actually physically catching all 151 Pokémon’s is proving a little tiring for some game-playing netizens though. Many have turned to an alternative means of getting around and this is where Uber and its competitor Lyft have been getting in on the act and augmenting their cash-flow by offering specific service to ferry around the game players.
Some drivers have worked out a special tariff for the players, with the first hour costing USD30 and subsequent hours costing USD20, although they stress that they will not do anything illegal such as stop in the middle of a motorway or speed and of course passengers must wear seatbelts at all times. Other drivers offer free Wi-Fi so that players can reduce their data plan usage.
The makers of the game, Nintendo and Niantic Labs, have put out a reminder for players that they shouldn’t play the game as a driver, only as a passenger.
However, the game has taken a more serious turn in other places, with the US, Australian and New Zealand Police forces stepping up safety warnings after players found themselves in some very bizarre and potentially life-threatening situations. In the US, robbers have been apprehended using the geo-location feature built into the game to pinpoint isolated players and then rob them at gun point.
The Australian Police has an otherwise different problem with one of its police stations being listed as a Poke-Stop where you can resupply. The local constabulary went as far as issuing a notice on their Facebook page telling players that there was no need to actually go into the police station:
“For those budding Pokémon Trainers out there using Pokémon Go – whilst the Darwin Police Station may feature as a Poke-stop, please be advised that you don’t actually have to step inside in order to gain the poke-balls. It’s also a good idea to look up, away from your phone and both ways before crossing the street. That Sand Shrew isn’t going anywhere fast.”
“Stay safe and catch ’em all!”
And you thought this was just a motoring blog…