People are hurting themselves hunting for Pokémon

The craze for Pokémon Go continues unabated, sending Nintendo's stock soaring — but some monster hunters chasing virtual beasts around the globe are facing unexpected hazards, like holes in the ground.
  1. 1.
    Since downloading the mobile videogame “Pokémon Go” last week, Dakota Schwartz has caught nearly 150 creatures in his San Francisco neighborhood. He also sprained his ankle at a park trying to capture a Cubone —a brown dinosaur-like Pokémon wearing a skull for a helmet.
    “I knew there was a Cubone over by the tennis courts,” said the 27-year-old tech-support specialist, who is now using a cane to get around. “I looked down at my phone at the wrong time.”
  2. 2.
    Staring can be dangerous. Stephanie Frosch walked into a fire hydrant and a street sign trying to catch Pokémon on a Los Angeles sidewalk. She has a large bruise on her left leg.
    “I call it a battle mission,” said the 23-year-old YouTube entertainer, who also tripped over a stranger’s dog. “They actually asked if I was playing.”
  3. 3.
    Hannah Sugarman found a Pokémon hovering above the edge of a subway platform in New York. She decided against trying to nab the creature. Besides, it was an average Zubat, not a rare Pokémon. “It’s not one worth risking your life over,” the 22-year-old graduate student said.
  4. 4.
    Beware hunting while riding a bike. Parker James chased a Pokémon on a nature trail near his home in Austin when he hit a bump, sending his iPhone flying. The screen was destroyed.
    “I was pretty wrapped up in the moment,” the 23-year-old barber said. Pokémon “was a big thing for me as a kid, and it was an opportunity to relive some of those childhood memories.”
  5. 5.
    A police department in northern Australia had strong words on its Facebook page aimed at players thinking of trolling its headquarters: “For those budding Pokémon Trainers out there ... whilst the Darwin Police Station may feature as a Pokéstop, please be advised that you don’t actually have to step inside in order to gain the pokéball."
  6. 6.
    Some public institutions welcome the explorers. A librarian at the Mooresville Public Library in Mooresville, Indiana, used social media to let people know its aisles are full of Pokémon.
    “I was thinking it might be a great way to draw some new patrons in,” said Jess Frederick, who works in the children’s section, where she’s spotted about a dozen Pokémon and several patrons trying to capture them. “I’ve seen some new faces for sure that I haven’t seen before.”
  7. 7.
    Virtual adventures sometimes even end in romance. John Seo of Closter, N.J., was exploring Brooklyn with friends Friday night when he saw a young woman capture a Pokémon. The two quickly struck up a conversation.
    “I just asked her out toward the end,” the 25-year-old said. “I’ve never met a stranger and felt so connected. It’s like you shared the same childhood.”
  8. 8.
    Explorers’ bumps and bruises haven’t halted the game’s surprising success, which has added $9 billion to Nintendo’s market value in recent days. Shares of the company surged 25% in Tokyo on Monday, a welcome development for the videogame company.
  9. 9.
    In the U.S., the game has racked up about two million downloads on iOS devices and is generating roughly $1.6 million in revenue daily from in-app purchases, market-research firm Sensor Tower Inc. estimated. It also is available on Android devices.
  10. 10.
    The companies behind “Pokémon Go”— Nintendo Co., Pokémon Co. and the Alphabet Inc. spinout Niantic Inc.—are aware of the potential for accidents. Players starting the game are met with a warning depicting a player, head down, walking toward the gaping maw of Gyarados, a Pokémon that looks like a sea dragon.