Muscat: A safety expert has called upon Omani drivers not to play Pokemon Go while driving.
Based around Nintendo’s popular video game franchise, the augmented reality app allows users to catch imaginary creatures in real-life surroundings using their phone’s camera.
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Although the game has not been officially launched through Oman’s Apple Store, Pokemon fans are downloading the game from stores in different regions.
Meanwhile, traffic safety expert Wahid Al Kharusi said that using such games on the roads can lead to accidents.
However, while he advised that the location-based game should not be banned, awareness about using the game responsibly must be raised by the authorities.
“If people are educated about how to use the game, and taught about its dangers, they will react to that and play it in a responsible manner,” Al Kharusi added.
While traffic safety experts around the globe criticise the game, it does, on the other hand, encourage users to go outside and explore their surroundings. Popular landmarks, such as The Child Museum in Al Qurum, some roundabouts in Ruwi and other public locations, are being used as Pokemon centres for app players to buy virtual items for their beloved Pokemons.
Mark Pudwell, another safety expert, said,after reviewing the game’s trailer, that it is “a ridiculous, pointless and dangerous application.”
“I am sure the designer factored in safety concerns, particularly as this application is aimed at a younger and less safety aware target audience, however, my advice is simple,” he added, asking youngsters to stay away from it.
“The risk to young people is very high and their focus will be entirely upon achieving the application’s goals and not on their immediate environment,”
The game, which was released this week, has exploded across Australia, the United States and New Zealand.
When a user downloads the game, it displays a warning message that reads “Remember to be alert at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings”.