LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Since its release last Wednesday, the wildly popular Pokemon GO game has sent throngs of players all across cities nationwide in search of characters like Pikachu.
The new interactive smartphone game is being played by the millions. Using each gamer’s GPS location, it sends players into the real world to look for virtual Pokemon characters.
But, in recent days, it has become apparent that some have wandered into trouble while playing the game.
“I was looking for a Pokemon for the Pokemon GO app,” said Maddie Olson, who called 911 in Massachusetts, saying two men were trying to kidnap her. “It was almost seeming like they were going to pick me up and put me in their car.”
In Phoenix, Pokemon GO sent players to a historic hotel that has been turned into a halfway house for sex offenders.
Police say the game has players crashing cars, walking into traffic, and wandering into yards.
“Looking out the window, going, hmmm, strangers. We have many strangers,” said one man, whose home was erroneously designated as a “Pokemon gym.”
Another posted video on Instagram that depicts people banging on his door, to which he replies, “Literally getting knocks on my door all day long. People won’t leave me alone. Go away, please!”
But the app isn’t all bad.
In Oregon, a Pokemon GO player helped police, and in Texas two players saved a dog that had been left for dead.
“His mouth was bleeding. He wasn’t moving very much,” described one woman of the dog, which is now recovering.
And in Arizona, Pokemon GO helped save a life. While playing, Jeanette Warren saw a boy being harassed by older kids.
“On the ground, and one of the older boys was standing over him and yelling at him,” said Warren. “At that point, I just called 911.”
Turns out, that boy was suffering from heat stroke.
The app makers have included a warning for players, saying it’s not a good idea to play alone, and to be aware of your surroundings.
Back in Studio City, CBS2/KCAL9 Chief Meteorologist Josh Rubenstein, and CBS2/KCAL9 Anchor Juan Fernandez both tested out the app while at the CBS Studio Center lot.
Click below to check out their journey: