Authorities say a 62-year-old man playing “Pokemon Go” at night in the woods behind his New York home became stuck in waist-deep mud and had to be rescued.
Police say the man was playing the game on his cellphone at around 2 a.m. Sunday when he wandered into thick woods behind his home in Coeymans (KWEE’-mihnz), just south of Albany.
Officials say he became trapped in a mud pit up to his waist and couldn’t get out. He used his phone to call 911 emergency dispatchers, who guided an officer to his location by pinging the man’s phone and the officer’s.
Faith Ekakitie, a defensive end for the University of Iowa, described in harrowing detail an encounter he had with police as he played Pokémon Go in an Iowa City park last week. This story, sobering as it is, ended not in tragedy but with Ekakitie thanking police.
“Today was the first time I’ve truly feared my life,” the 23-year-old senior wrote Wednesday on Facebook, “and I have the media to thank for that.”
The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder wrote that he was “happy to be alive” after five police officers stopped him and pointed four guns at him because he fit the description of a man who had just robbed a bank. At a time when police shootings of black men are under scrutiny, Ekakitie described the encounter from his perspective and tried to look at it through the eyes of police, too.
“My pockets were checked, my backpack was opened up and searched carefully, and I was asked to lift up my shirt while they searched my waistband,” Ekakitie wrote. “Not once did they identify themselves to me as Iowa City Police officers, but with four gun barrels staring me in the face, I wouldn’t dare question the authority of the men and woman in front of me. This is what happened from my point of view.
“From the police officers’ point of view, all they knew was that a bank had just been robbed less than ten minutes ago. The suspect was a large black male, wearing all black, with something on top of his head and the suspect is armed. As they drive past an Iowa City park that was less than 3 minutes away from the bank that was just robbed, they notice a large black man, dressed in all black, with black goggles on his head. They quickly move to action and identify themselves as the Iowa City police and ask me to turn around and place my hands up. I do not comply, they ask again, and again no response from me. So they all draw their guns and begin to slowly approach the suspect.”
Ekakitie wrote that he did not immediately respond to officers because he was wearing headphones and they approached him from behind. He was, he realized, in a situation in which “things can go south very quickly.” He wrote:
In this situation, what the media would fail to let people know is that the suspect had his headphones in the entire time the Police Officers approached him initially. The suspect had actually just pulled up to the park because he was playing a newly popular Game called Pokemon Go. The suspect didn’t realize that there were four cops behind him because his music was blaring in his ears. The suspect had reached into his pockets, for something which was his phone, but for all the cops could have known, he was reaching for a gun. The suspect could very well become another statistic on this day. I am not one to usually rant on Facebook or anywhere else, but with all of the crazy things that have been happening in our world these past couple of weeks it is hard to stay silent. I am thankful to be alive, and I do now realize, that it very well could have been me, a friend of mine, my brother, your cousin, your nephew etc. Misunderstandings happen all the time and just like that things can go south very quickly. It is extremely sad that our society has brainwashed us all to the point where we can’t feel safe being approached by the police officers in our respective communities. Not all police officers are out to get you, but at the same time, not all people who fit a criminal profile are criminals.
Jorey Bailey, a sergeant with the Iowa City police, told the Des Moines Register that the armed robbery had occurred less than a block from the park and that, because Ekakitie matched the description of a large black man in black clothes and did not respond, it was “reasonable” that officers drew their guns. He told ESPN that the officers were in uniform, not undercover, and told SB Nation on Sunday that more information would be forthcoming in the next few days. An Iowa spokesperson confirmed for ESPN that the Facebook account and its contents were Ekakitie’s.
“I don’t think race played a factor in this, nor does it in circumstances like this because of the detailed description, the location given by the person and the short time span in which this all occurred,” Bailey said.
Ekakitie urged people to be aware of their surroundings and to “unlearn some of the prejudiced that we have learned about each other.”
I would like the thank the Iowa City Police department for handling a sensitive situation very professionally. I would also urge people to be more aware of their surroundings because clearly I wasn’t. Lastly, I would urge us all to at least to attempt to unlearn some of the prejudices that we have learned about each other and now plague our minds and our society. I am convinced that in the same way that we learned these prejudices, we can also unlearn them.
Two men in their early 20s fell an estimated 50 to 90 feet down a cliff in Encinitas, California, on Wednesday afternoon while playing “Pokémon Go,” San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Rich Eaton said. The men sustained injuries, although the extent is not clear.
Pokémon Go is a free-to-play app that gets users up and moving in the real world to capture fictional “pocket monsters” known as Pokémon. The goal is to capture as many of the more than hundred species of animated Pokémon as you can.
Apparently it wasn’t enough that the app warns users to stay aware of surroundings or that signs posted on a fence near the cliff said “No Trespassing” and “Do Not Cross.” When firefighters arrived at the scene, one of the men was at the bottom of the cliff while the other was three-quarters of the way down and had to be hoisted up, Eaton said.
Both men were transported to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. They were not charged with trespassing.
Eaton encourages players to be careful. “It’s not worth life or limb,” he said
In parts of San Diego County, there are warning signs for gamers not to play while driving. San Diego Gas and Electric tweeted a warning to stay away from electric lines and substations when catching Pokémon.
This is the latest among many unexpected situations gamers have found themselves in, despite the game being released just more than a week ago. In one case, armed robbers lured lone players of the wildly popular augmented reality game to isolated locations. In another case, the game led a teen to discover a dead body.
German police say they’ve arrested an 18-year-old man who was wanted for evading a prison sentence after he ventured out to play the newly launched “Pokemon Go” smartphone game with friends.
Police in Trier, on Germany’s western border, said the group’s “peculiar behavior” as they played the game in the city on Friday prompted officers to check their papers.
The 18-year-old initially gave a false identity but police quickly established that there was an arrest warrant out for him. He was detained and is now serving a six-month prison sentence he had previously avoided serving — police wouldn’t specify for what.
Almost everywhere you turn, it seems like people have their eyes glued to smartphone screens playing Pokemon Go. Since its launch last week, the app has quickly become a cultural phenomenon that has fans of all ages hunting around their neighborhoods for collectible digital creatures that appear on players’ screens almost like magic as they explore real-world locations.
But there’s at least one place that would really like to keep Pokemon out: the Holocaust Museum.
The Museum itself, along with many other landmarks, is a “PokeStop” within the game — a place where players can get free in-game items. In fact, there are actually three different PokeStops associated with various parts of the museum.
“Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism,” Andrew Hollinger, the museum’s communications director, told The Post in an interview. “We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game.”
The Holocaust Museum’s plight highlights how apps that layer a digital world on top of the real one, or so-called augmented reality games, can come with unforeseen consequences and raises questions about how much control the physical owner of a space can exert as those two worlds intersect.
One image circulating online appears to show a player encountering an unsettling digital critter inside the museum: a poison gas-type Pokemon called Koffing floating by a sign for the museum’s Helena Rubinstein Auditorium. Clearly, it’s an awkward if not offensive thing to find in a place dedicated to making sure the world never forgets those killed in the gas chambers at Nazi death camps.
The image, which appears to have originated from a now deleted post on the photo-sharing site imgur, might be a hoax: That particular Pokemon didn’t appear nearby when this Post reporter visited the museum Monday afternoon, although the specific Pokemon that appears in each location does vary from time to time. Hollinger said that the museum is aware of and concerned about the potential Koffing appearance.
If a player really did encounter a Koffing inside the museum, it seems unlikely that Niantic Labs— the developers behind the game — would have made it show up there on purpose. But even the specter of that particular Pokemon spawning there raises questions about what sort of controls the game has in place to stop its fantasy world from causing distress in the real world, even if that distress is unintentional.
Niantic did not immediately respond to inquiries about the alleged Koffing sighting or if there was any way to honor the Holocaust Museum’s request to stop Pokemon from popping up inside its building.
Hollinger stressed that the museum is generally pro-technology and encourages visitors to use social media to share how their experiences with the exhibits moved them. “But this game falls very much outside that,” he said. Hollinger added that it seemed disrespectful, especially in more solemn parts of the complex like the Hall of Remembrance.
On Monday afternoon, there were plenty of people inside the museum who seemed to be distracted from its haunting exhibits as they tried to “catch ’em all.” A player even used a lure module, a beacon that attracts Pokemon to a specific PokeStop, on the museum’s marker — making double-headed bird-like creatures dubbed Doduos and rodent-like Rattatas practically swarm on users’ screens.
The player behind the lure, a 30-year-old visiting from North Carolina named Dustin who declined to share his last name with The Post for privacy reasons, was excited to catch a crustacean-like Krabby while waiting in the museum’s lobby with a group of friends to pick up tickets for a scheduled tour of the exhibits.
Although the museum is uncomfortable with its Pokemon infestation, most of the players building up their digital critter collection inside the building at least didn’t seem to mean any disrespect.
“It’s not like we came here to play,” said Angie, a 37-year-old member of Dustin’s huddle who also declined to share her last name for privacy reasons, “But gotta catch ’em all.”
When his one-year-old son was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Ryan Green turned to videogames. It was in part an escape, but also a way to share the the ups and downs of his family’s experiences.
In January 2016 — two years after four-year-old Joel passed away — ‘That Dragon, Cancer’ was released.
The two-hour game is less choose-your-own adventure and more about immersive experience — putting the player right in the center of the Green family’s battle for Joel’s life. You see the diagnosis, the tears, the desperate prayers — but you also hear Joel’s laughter, lots of it.
Green said that people have embraced it, despite the fact that it’s not the type of game you’d sit down to play over and over again.
“It was incredible, the groundswell of interest,” said Green, onstage at the Wired Business Conference in New York City on Thursday. “We were able to share our story and that gave other people permission to share theirs. That grief process — that’s all I could hope for.”
Green said the game was a team effort. There were four full-time people working on it, and his wife Amy wrote the script.
Green used the metaphor of a boat to describe players’ engagement with the game.
“If you’re in a boat, you’re going where it’s going. You can be freaked out and flail and try to drive it limited way,” he said. “[But] we invite you in as a friend. You go downstream with us. It’s about the discovery of the story … It’s about grace in the midst of having no choice.”
The game, which costs $14.99, was a memorial to Joel — but has also made him live on through the experiences of stranger.
Green said people write him and say, “‘The thing that I loved most was making Joel laugh.’ They wanted to comfort him as if he was present. I hope it adds to their life experience — to have loved Joel.”
But Green doesn’t return to the game himself.
“That work is done,” he said. “It’s been all consuming: losing Joel, grieving Joel — it needs to be done.”
As for what’s next? Green — who has four children — said his next project will be in the virtual reality space, although he won’t disclose details. His studio, Numinous Games, also plans to bring ‘That Dragon, Cancer’ to mobile devices, in order to share Joel’s story with even more people. Right now, it’s just available on Macs and PCs.
“We hope to continue to tell meaningful stories and show people that life is complex,” he said onstage. “It’s not all tears but it’s also laughter.”
“Pokemon Go” is a wildly popular new smartphone game that has players exploring their real-life neighborhoods.
And in rural Wyoming, it led a teenager to discover a dead man’s body in a river.
Like so many others, Shayla Wiggins, 19, was eager to play this version of the blockbuster 1990s Game Boy video game.
“Since it’s virtual reality, I thought: that’s cool,” she said.
Pokemon Go uses augmented reality — tapping your phone’s camera to superimpose cute, virtual creatures in the real world. It was released on Thursday and has already been downloaded more than a million times on Android and Apple devices.
Wiggins started playing Thursday night, catching 50 virtual animals as she walked through a parking lot and a gas station.
On Friday morning, she grabbed her iPhone 6 and slipped on a pair of sandals. Then she took a short walk to explore the Big Wind River, which winds behind her home in the town of Riverton.
“I was trying to get a water Pokemon,” she explained.
The game cautions users to keep aware of their surroundings. But like most players, Wiggins stared intently at her phone as she made her way beneath the Wyoming Highway 789 Bridge.
She spotted two deer near the water — but still no Pokemon. So, she walked down to the rocky river bank. She didn’t immediately notice the man’s body lying face down in the water six feet to her left.
“I guess I was only paying attention to my phone and where I was walking,” she said.
When she finally realized she was standing near a corpse, Wiggins called the police and led them to the scene.
The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that it’s investigating the man’s death. Investigators think it’s likely the man drowned at that spot, where the water is only three feet deep.
“The death appears to be accidental in nature,” Undersheriff Ryan D. Lee said in a statement.
Police haven’t publicly identified the man.
Shawna Wiggins told CNNMoney her daughter was “pretty scared and shaken,” but is doing much better.
“I probably would have never went down there if it weren’t for this game,” Shayla Wiggins admitted.
“But in a way, I’m thankful. I feel like I helped find his body. He could have been there for days.”
Wiggins, who is working at a Dairy Queen for the summer before starting college in Arizona, said she still plans to keep playing Pokemon Go to explore her central Wyoming town.
But if video games weren’t created until the middle part of the twentieth century (most video game historians point to the Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device, created in 1947, as the first true “video game”), what exactly did Nintendo do in its early years?
The company that would become “Nintendo” was founded in 1889 by entrepreneur Fusajiro Yamauchi as “Nintendo Koppai” (also known as the “Nintendo Playing Card Co. Ltd.,” and was styled as a playing card company that mostly made Japanese playing cards called “Hanafuda.” The so-called “flower cards” have been a part of Japanese gameplay for centuries, and Nintendo had great success in manufacturing and marketing them. The company still makes cards to this day.
Despite the company’s success with playing cards, Yamauchi’s grandson Hiroshi eventually realized that Nintendo had probably gone as far as anyone possibly could with just cards. In 1956, the young go-getter was astonished to see that the massive United States Playing Card Company was run out of a small office. If that’s what they were working with, what could Nintendo possibly aspire to?
First up: character cards. Nintendo (quite sagely) picked up the rights to the Disney cabal of characters, putting them on their cards and driving sales, but that wasn’t quite enough. They needed to think bigger.
The early sixties weren’t too kind to the ever-expanding Nintendo empire. The company, hellbent on mixing things up and pushing past just playing card sales, stretched itself too thin by getting involved with everything. Well, nearly everything.
Between 1963 and 1968, Nintendo began dabbling in such disparate industries as transportation (a taxi company), hospitality (a love hotel chain), and food (they specialized in ramen) under the umbrella of “Nintendo Co., Ltd.” None of these attempts at expanding into different industries worked out, and Nintendo soon needed to find something new to embrace.
After the mixed bag that was the ’50s, Nintendo turned its attentions to toys, including the carnival-like “Love Tester” and the popular “Kousenjuu” light gun games, which paved the way for the company to turn their attentions to more light gun-based gaming. Slowly, the company moved towards more electronics-heavy games and toys, even though they couldn’t initially keep up with big names like Bandai and Tomy.
Nintendo steadily worked their way into the video game realm, but things really changed in 1974, when the company bought the distribution rights for the Magnavox Odyssey video game console. In 1975, the company set about making their own video arcade games, with Genyo Takeda’s “EVR Race.” By 1977, the company was making its very own consoles, originally styled as five different kinds of the “Color TV-Game.” (The first Color-TV Game console is responsible for bringing six different takes on Pong to the world.)
These consoles were partially designed by Shigeru Miyamoto, who would go on to design Donkey Kong for the company in 1981, a game-changer through and through. Once Donkey Kong hit the market—allowing Nintendo to enjoy licensing their own products to other companies—Nintendo had established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the burgeoning video game sector.
Once Nintendo’s dominance in the industry was recognized, the company began churning out inspiring new creations, from the handheld “Game & Watch” game series, to the “Family Computer” for home gaming (eventually launched as the NES outside of Japan), to the smash-hit that was the Game Boy (invented in 1989). The company’s success continued in the late eighties, thanks to the release of the Super Nintendo (SNES), which also helped kick off the infamous battle with rival Sega.
In 1994, Nintendo celebrated the sale of one billion game cartridges (a tenth of them attributed to Mario games alone). A series of missteps marred the rest of the ’90s, including the disappointing Virtual Boy in 1995, but the company quickly rebounded with the Nintendo 64, the Game Boy Pocket, and the Game Boy Color.
The aughts proved to be similarly fraught for the company with the disappointment of machines like GameCube and Game Boy Micro. This was briefly tempered by the success of the Nintendo DS and the New Super Mario Bros. game in 2006.
If there’s one thing that’s really changed things for the company, though, it’s the Wii, first introduced in 2006. The motion-controlled system has proven to be especially successful for Nintendo.
Next up for the company? A heavier reliance on glasses-free 3D displays, an interest in video compression, and games that fold in advanced face and voice recognition.
The 90-second spot, called “Coin,” debuted Thursday night during “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on NBC, which will carry the championship game on Feb. 1.
Bud Light started teasing the spot more than two weeks ago. But the buzz really ramped up when a lot of the young people hired to be in the commercial posted photos from the set all over Twitter and Instagram.
Video game archaeologists have found a cache of Atari games that were buried in the New Mexico desert 30 years ago.
Before now reports Atari had dumped millions of game cartridges were widely believed to be an urban myth.
But a three-hour dig at a landfill site turned up many Atari cartridges, including copies of the game ET: The Extra Terrestrial.
Atari made millions of copies of the ET game, but it sold poorly and helped to contribute to the demise of the firm.
“For a lot of people, it’s something that they’ve wondered about and it’s been rumoured and talked about for 30 years, and they just want an answer,” said Zak Penn, director of a documentary being made about the search for the site and its uncovering.
The documentary by Fuel Entertainment is being prepared for Microsoft’s Xbox TV channel.
Atari was thought to have dumped truckloads of unsold games in the landfill site on the outskirts of Alamogordo in 1983 as the company was winding down.
The game maker’s descent from its position as the dominant force in home gaming in the late 1970s and early 1980s was swift and has been partly blamed on the gamble it took on making a game of Steven Spielberg’s 1982 hit film ET.
The game was made from scratch in five weeks for the Atari 2600 console. Even before the game was finished Atari, committed huge amounts of money and resources to it and produced millions of copies when it was done.
The ET game has been described as one of the worst ever created. Its challenging game play and poor graphics put people off buying it and left Atari with huge amounts of unsold inventory.
The search to see if the rumours about the dump were true was given new life by the efforts of one unnamed game enthusiast who did the detective work to narrow down its location.
Red tape surrounding the uncovering of the landfill site held up the start of the dig but once permission was granted excavations began on 26 April.
Three hours of digging with a backhoe uncovered significant amounts of Atari 2600 game cartridges – many of which were still in their original packaging.
Only a limited amount of material could be retrieved from the dump because the dig was only allowed access for one day. The local authority of Alamogordo ordered the dig site to be refilled on 27 April.