Pokemon Go takes mobile gaming by storm

The wildly popular mobile game Pokemon Go has Bronx residents out walking the streets with their phones in hand.

The wildly popular mobile game Pokemon Go has Bronx residents out walking the streets with their phones in hand. (7/11/16)

THE BRONX - The wildly popular mobile game Pokemon Go has Bronx residents out walking the streets with their phones in hand.

The game requires players to walk around with their smartphones and collect virtual critters and other items at real-world locations. It's estimated that Pokemon Go has been downloaded 7.5 million times in less than a week in the U.S., and it has kids and adults alike playing for hours at a time, often while walking for miles.

The game has players walk to "pokestops," specific coordinates where they can collect virtual items. Some are at historical sites or churches, while others can be found at businesses.

The game is being described as a great way to spend time with friends or meet new people while moving around outdoors, but it comes with some safety concerns. Players have reported tripping or falling while engrossed in the game. For that reason, players need to be aware of their surroundings, and experts say adults need to keep an eye on children who could wander off.

There is a report of one player in Missouri who was robbed at a game location. Users should exercise caution while walking around with their pricey smartphones in plain sight.

It's also important to remember that saying you "gotta catch 'em all" is not a valid excuse to trespass on private property. A sheriff's office in Virginia says it's seen a rise in reports of trespassing and suspicious activity linked to the game.

And, of course, people who are behind the wheel should not use their handheld cellphones for games or other purposes.

AP wire services contributed to this report.

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