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Dangers of 'Pokemon Go' mania

Posted at 6:33 PM, Jul 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-12 18:40:31-04

Pikachu, Squirtle, and Charmander.

No, these aren’t new bands or even viral dance crazes, these are just three of more than 100 Pokémon characters, and they’re hiding in a neighborhood near you.

Since the Pokémon game launched last week, millions of players of all ages have joined the hunt, searching for these characters hiding near landmarks, under bridges even behind the couch in their living room.

But Deputy Mayor of Williamsville Chris Duquin says although the hunt is getting people up and moving, the search is often taking place on private property or after a location closes.

He says he spotted hundreds of Pokémon seekers in the Village Monday night, with many of them in the Williamsville cemetery.

“If you know the lingo it’s a gem, a hot spot where people come the congregate and the actually fight as part of the game” Duquin told 7 Eyewitness News.

Park leaders are beginning to recognize the roles these landmarks play in the popular game but advise those on the hunt to keep park rules in mind.

And it’s not just the activity in the parks prompting a warning to Pokémon fans. AAA of Western New York and even the New York State DMV is advising users that the game was not intended to be used behind the wheel.

“People are actually abusing it their using it while they are driving which is a definite distraction.” Elizabeth Carey with AAA told 7 Eyewitness News.

Carey says the game could also be a distraction to those traveling by foot and it’s crucial for users to be aware of their surroundings.