Kshitij PujariJun 26, 2019 19:32:03 IST
Niantic's latest venture in the AR-based gaming industry is called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and is getting downloaded quite heavily on iOS and Android. Like Pokémon Go before it, Wizards Unite uses the smartphone camera for AR and integrates with Google Maps to explore the virtual world when players roam outside in the real world. And yes, you’re required to step outside the confines of your comfy home or office to truly enjoy this game.
While this might sound like an exciting and fun venture, you must be careful about your safety whilst you are roaming about casting spells and freeing “Confoundables”.
While playing Pokémon Go back in 2016, there had been a number of accidents that had caused due to the negligence of players in their surroundings. Two economists from Purdue University had estimated that people driving while playing Pokémon Go had caused millions in damages in just 148 days of the launch of the game. Two men fell off a cliff in California, after ignoring warning signs and a couple of teenagers were literally shot at for trespassing on a property looking for Pokémon.
I'm quite sure that in India people will not get shot over playing Wizards Unite, but pathetic road conditions, lack of civic sense, and negligent drivers could end up causing some harm if you are not careful enough. Keeping that in mind, here are a few tips and tricks so that you don't do personal harm to yourself but rather enjoy the game fully.
Do not drive and play Wizards Unite at the same time
While it may certainly feel appealing to drive around looking for Confoundables, doing so while you're the one driving is tantamount to disaster. Putting aside the obvious fact that your eyes should always be on the road, even major Indian city's road infrastructure is pitiable at best. They are full of potholes, broken barriers, pedestrians, wild animals and other such obstacles which would make it a foolish venture to get distracted while sitting in the driver's seat. Instead of driving, park your vehicle in a safe place and then roam around trying to find in-game challenges. Who knows you might even get some exercise done as well. As a reminder, the game itself keeps throwing warning messages to not play while driving. It also detects when you're travelling at high speeds, telling you not to play the game.
Keep one eye on the road always
Although going to unfamiliar locations while you play Wizards Unite is always fun and also kind of the point of this game, it is prudent to remember that people are not just going to make way for you as you roam around places. To get to most places you will need to walk on roads and unfortunately, the lack of traffic sense in the country could cost you big time if you're not careful enough. In the US, out of the 286 crashes happened in 148 days since Pokémon Go released, 134 occurred near Pokéstops. This is a significant indicator that one needs to be aware of your roads and traffic conditions. Always keep checking the road while playing and if there seems to be a Foundable in a place where there are a lot of cars, it may be a wise idea not to go there.
Do not trespass or go into dangerous places
As mentioned earlier, people in the US have been shot at for trespassing on private property. While gun laws are not as lax in India, it still feels like a bad idea to enter someone's private land just to fulfil your whims as a Potterhead. Look for challenges in the ample public spaces that are not owned by an individual or institution. Also, it would be a good idea to avoid any religious establishment while playing the game because it's likely that it won't be taken too kindly.
Speaking of public spaces, one must also keep a check if the places you are exploring are not hazardous. The crowded, jam-packed, and at times dingy nature of roads in India make it quite an irksome task to go from one place to another. Always roam in brightly lit conditions as at night it will be difficult to see things like open drains, exposed electric wires, copper rods jutting out from buildings and more.
Stay away from strangers
If you are a child wandering about unknown areas, always stay on alert for suspicious people. Inns, Fortresses and other locations in the game could be a hotbed for child predators and it would be in your best interest to stay wary of people. You could always have an adult accompany you to places which may not be familiar to you.
At the end, it's all about having fun while playing the game. With a fair amount of common sense, you should be fine and away from harm's way while you're venturing out fighting against those pesky Confoundables.
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