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Popular Pokemon App Could Be Sending Players Into Real-Life Dangerous Territory

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)-- A popular new app is sending its players into dangerous and possibly deadly areas.

The video game, named Pokemon Go, turns real streets and sidewalks into a virtual arena, WCBS 880's Mike Smeltz reported. 

As a player walks down the street they'll see checkpoints where they can earn prizes and also catch little creatures called Pokemon. The game compels you to keep an eye on your phone as you walk along the street.

(WCBS 880/Mike Smeltz.)

Despite debuting in the United States just last week, Pokemon Go is already leading players into trouble. In the St. Louis area several players have been robbed after thieves set up a beacon in the game to draw players to an isolated area.

The app's developer said for safety's sake never play Pokemon Go when you're on a bike or driving in a car.

However, a quick check of the game played in New York shows three prize checkpoints at the mouth of the Holland Tunnel and one more checkpoint several feet inside the tunnel.

Players have already reported wiping out in a variety of ways as they wander the real world, eyes glued to their smartphone screens, in search of digital monsters. Twisted ankles, mishaps with revolving doors and walking into trees have been among the painful results. The game has also induced people to post pictures of themselves on social media chasing creatures in all sorts of dangerous situations, like while driving.

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