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Report: Man Shoots At Pokémon Go Players, Mistaking Them For Burglars

Early Saturday morning, a 37-year-old man from Florida fired shots at two teens who were stationed in a car in his neighborhood at 1:30 a.m., thinking they were looking for a house to rob. Turns out that all they were after were Pokémon.

According to The Orlando Sentinel, the two were playing Pokémon Go, the augmented reality mobile game that's become a cultural phenomenon since its launch earlier this month. After being awoken by a loud noise, the man noticed a strange, white car parked outside his house. He went outside to investigate while holding his handgun. When approaching the car, he heard two teens inside it say to one another, "Did you get anything?" which immediately made him suspect that they were attempting to rob his home. He stepped in front of the car and ordered the boys not to move. However, the car sped off and that's when the man started to fire shots at it.

No one was injured. Police say that the boys were in search of two Pokémon: a Marowak and a Tauros.

Officials are still investigating the incident, and we will update the article should we hear more. This isn't the first time Pokémon Go has spurred unfortunate or criminal events. Last week, armed robbers lured unsuspecting players to a secluded PokéStop. Find out more about Pokémon Go by reading editor Jeff Marchiafava's humor column and watching our Test Chamber.

[Source: The Orlando Sentinel]

 

Our Take
There's been plenty of crazy stories resulting from Pokémon Go, from a girl in Wyoming finding a dead body whilst playing the game, or armed robbers setting up ambushes near a PokéStop. This story about a man mistaking two kids for burglars is a frightening situation, but it's not surprising since Pokémon Go takes you to some random places, at random times. Stay safe when you're playing.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

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Report: Armed Robbers In Missouri Used Pokémon Go To Lure Victims

Update: Three of the four men have been formally charged with robbery in the 1st degree and armed criminal action. They are named Shane Michael Backer, 18, Brett William Miller, 17, and Jamine James D. Warner, 18.

Original Story (July 10, 3:14 p.m.):

According to a statement from the O'Fallon Missouri Police Department, four individuals have been using the augmented reality game Pokémon Go to commit armed robbery on unsuspecting players lured to specific areas.

The suspects, who are believed to have set up a series of these traps over the last few days in the St. Louis area and St. Charles Counties, have been apprehended and remain in custody. Their identities remain unknown to the public until a warrant is issued. The perpetrators were caught at 2 a.m. this morning, occupying a black BMW, and the police were able to recover a handgun. The police believe that the suspects added a beacon to a Pokéstop to hopefully lure players to the general vicinity. 

"Apparently they were using the app to locate ppl [sic] standing around in the middle of a parking lot or whatever other location they were in," the O'Fallon Missouri P.D. says on their Facebook page. The police also issued a warning to the public in the statement, saying, "If you use this app (or other similar type apps) or have children that do we ask you to please use caution when alerting strangers of your future location."

[Source: O'Fallon Missouri Police Department Facebook Page Via Gizmodo]

 

Our Take
It doesn't surprise me that there are people out there that have found loopholes or ways to use this app for criminal activity — it's a trend we see often with new technologies. However, this doesn't make this any less awful and disheartening, and I hope that the victims are recovering from these unfortunate events.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Report: CS:GO Lotto And Its Owners Pulled Into A Lawsuit Against Valve

It was recently uncovered that popular YouTubers Tom “ProSyndicate” Cassell and Trevor “TmarTn” Martin are owners of the website CS:GO Lotto – a website they promoted without openly revealing their ownership of the affiliated company. It has called into question the ethics of online influencers, and now a new wrinkle has appeared as the two, and their website CS:GO Lotto, have been pulled into a lawsuit levied against Valve and Counter Strike: GO related to whether or not the trading and selling of the game's randomized skins constitutes gambling.

Polygon reports that Cassell and Martin have been added as an addendum to the lawsuit against Valve which was filed in late June by an anonymous parent on behalf of their child. The lawsuit accuses Valve of knowingly creating system where the game's weapon skins have begun to function like a currency and are being traded and used to place bets.

A filing with the addendum has been submitted, but but hasn't yet been published to the federal district court electronic filing system. We will update this story when we are able to uncover the document with the new information.

[Source: Polygon]

 

Our Take
There are a lot of difficult factors at play here and I get the sense, especially following Martin's pulled apology video and tweets like this from Cassell, that the two don't quite realize exactly the position they have put themselves in. Something more than a slap on the wrist is in order here and it has the potential to have wide ramifications on the world on online streaming personalities. This is a story absolutely worth keeping tabs on.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Our Pokémon Go Field Report

We still don’t know when Pokémon Go will release, but it did get a closed beta and Jeff Cork and myself spent about a week with it exploring the wild and capturing Pokemon. We decided to discuss our adventures, what we like about the game, what we feel needs some work, and whether or not we’ll play the full release when it becomes available.

Kyle: Hey Jeff. You and I have been playing the Pokémon Go beta for about a week.

Jeff: Yes. Yes we have.

Kyle: So, as a refresher, Pokémon Go is sort of an augmented reality game where you explore and catch Pokémon in the real world. It connects to your phone’s GPS and shows you where Pokémon are in the world, and you can also collect items by visiting shops and challenge Gyms that are usually located around real-world landmarks. You have to literally travel to them in order to interact with them, just like we did when we visited the Gym near our office right by the Mississippi river. I have found 59 Pokémon so far during my travels between home and work. How many have you found Jeff?

Jeff: Yeah yeah, you’re the greatest living trainer. I’ve only managed to acquire 45. I’m pretty happy with my collection though. The game does a pretty decent job of distributing the creatures throughout the world, and while I’ve seen plenty of repeats (go away, Pidgey!), I’ve found several new types during each of my sessions. I’m not sure if your experience has been similar, but I’ve been having a lot of fun with the game simply walking around my neighborhood and on the trails by a nearby lake. It’s nice to have a game-y wrapper around something like going on a walk, even though I may or may not have almost walked into garbage cans several times because I wasn’t paying attention. Good thing I live in a quiet neighborhood…

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To watch us talk about the game on the latest episode of the Game Informer Show, watch the clip above.

Kyle: I have been happily surprised by the distribution of Pokémon in general. I thought maybe there would be a Pokémon or two every block, but it really presents you with a handful of possible Pokémon basically wherever you are. My house, for example, always has a bunch of Rattatas near it. I have seven of those guys in my collection now. I haven’t gone on any Pokémon Go-focused walks yet, but it has quickly become something I pull out of my pocket whenever I go somewhere new. I also drove out of my way to stop at the park up the street on thee way to work one morning to grab a bunch of free items. Whether it’s just going up the street to the grocery store, or going out for weekend activities, it’s fun to see what’s nearby. I was really upset when I saw a Snorlax was nearby at the annual Burnsville Minnesota Fairy Festival and wasn’t able to get it, and then you caught one in Game Informer’s kitchen.

At this stage in the beta, I was disappointed there is no option to trade Pokémon. I would gladly trade you six Rattatas for your Snorlax. They’re high-quality Rattatas, I promise.

Jeff: They sound absolutely terrific. Sold! While I love being able to check out Pokémon Go in its beta, we’re clearly not even seeing a fraction of its potential. We did make a pilgrimage to that river Gym this morning, but it seemed poorly defended and kind of sad. Hopefully, once people get into the full game, we’ll see some actual competition for these locations. As it stands, we just tapped our phones to attack the gym’s lone defending Pokémon until it fainted, then we could take it over. I guess it was mildly interesting, but I don’t know that I’d go out of my way to do it again if that was all there was to it. Fortunately, I think the appeal of catching the creatures in the wild is enough to keep me playing for a while. And if we could get some trading functionality in there, too, that’s even better. Have you been pretty happy with it overall? I know you were bummed about not catching that Snorlax, but I’ve had my share of misses, too. There was a Beedrill that refused to get captured, even after I threw dozens of regular Pokéballs at it, along with all of my Ultra and Great Pokéballs. It will forever be known as the one who got away…

Kyle: The act of searching for and catching Pokémon has certainly been the highlight. To explain how it works, your avatar is basically seen on a map, and Pokémon pop up on the map around you and then you tap them to try and catch them. That brings up a new screen where you flick Pokéballs at the Pokémon and hope for the best. You can set it up so it accesses the camera and Pokémon appear in your environment, but I turned that off pretty quickly. It’s cute, but I much preferred just having a stationary creature for me to try and catch. In the game and the animated Pokémon show, it’s always shown as Pokéballs being tossed at a Pokémon and then they zip inside. I feel like the game does a good job of emulating that. It’s fun to try and hit a Pokémon with a Pokéball.

The combat, however, as we experienced when challenging the gym, is not something I really see myself actively seeking out. I suppose it will be necessary to evolve and grow my capture pokemon, but I am much more interested in just seeing what I can find.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Above: Watch this clip from The Game Informer Show to hear Kyle and Jeff's impressions.

Jeff: Exactly. This is still the first iteration of the game, and I’m expecting to see constant updates and improvements over time. Hopefully, there’s some kind of way to trade and battle with other players, but I can understand if that’s not a direction the developers want to explore. The whole hook of Pokémon Go is how it’s based in the real world, and I don’t think it’s a particularly great idea to encourage strangers to meet up in person – particularly when these locations, like the gym we visited today, is kind of a creepy, secluded area. Maybe they can find a way to let players battle online or something, but I definitely feel creepy enough walking around my neighborhood solo. I can only imagine how weird it would look if I was seeking out children to battle. As a parent, I know that would raise some flags for me.

I mentioned it in our upcoming podcast segment, but the developers anticipated one thing I’d been thinking about: You can’t play while driving, which is great. I tried to get one of my sons to hoover up nearby Pokémon while taking them to day camp, but once I hit a certain speed the game simply stopped putting Pokémon in the world. That’s smart. I don’t think anyone needs to get into a car accident over this game. That would also defeats the whole conceit of the game, which is to get out and explore the world around you. On foot. Like Ash, or whatever that guy’s name is.

Kyle: You don’t have to pretend you don’t obsessively watch the show for me, Cork. Did you find any eggs? I like how hatching those is connected to your pedometer. It’s a nice callback to the way eggs work in the core Pokémon games and also adds extra incentive for walking. It’s like a nice little surprise you have to walk around with to find out what’s inside.

Jeff: Driving doesn’t hatch eggs, either. Damn it.

Kyle: Overall, despite the simplicity of the beta and the missing mechanics, I am excited to play more Pokémon Go. We’re the only ones playing the beta in the office, and we were already discussing who we saw where and comparing numbers pretty regularly. I’m excited to see the userbase get bigger – which I am confident it will when it releases – and discuss the best places to get Pokémon and where to find items and all that. Collection is the main hook for me, and I am already feeling the tug pretty strongly. I am disappointed my save data won’t make it past the beta and into the final game, which is always a good sign.

Jeff: I’m with you 100 percent as far as the pull of amassing a collection goes. Especially since there are like 4,000 of these things to collect now at this point, and I imagine that they’ll steadily increase the roster beyond the original 151. I do feel bad for people who live out in the middle of nowhere, since you’d presumably be missing out if you didn’t have any landmarks to visit or gyms to battle over. That’s a problem for another day, though.

Kyle: Hey. Can I have your Snorlax?

For more on Pokemon Go, head here to read about the game’s companion pedometer that was announced at E3. We’ll also be discussing the game more during tonight’s Game Informer Show podcast.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

One Year Later, Shenmue III Developers Don’t Have Much To Report On Development

One year after launching its successful Kickstarter campaign, developer Ys Net and its head Yu Suzuki have released an update on how development of Shenmue III is going. It doesn't answer a lot of questions, but it is something.

According to Suzuki, the team is creating a prototype build for the game began back in January – which he points out is when the project really ramped up. He continues, saying both the game's battles and facial expressions are starting to take shape, leading to lots of cheers from his team. "It makes me feel it will turn out to be a good game," Suzuki says in the video.

The creator closes by asking fans to continue their support of Shenmue III. Not explicitly saying it, but potentially asking for more backing via the game's still-running PayPal campaign.

Shenmue III was announced last year alongside its Kickstarter campaign at Sony's E3 Press Conference as a joint production between Ys Net and Sony. It was met with large fanfare, meeting its funding in full in under 13 hours,and the developer has opened a second crowdfunding effort (the aforementioned PayPal campaign), as well as having been relatively quiet regarding the status of the game, its funding, and which backers would get what rewards.

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No release date has yet been provided for Shenmue III, which is assumed to be still early in its development cycle, though its crowdfunding pages point to a December 2017 launch. Sega has recently shown an interest in re-releasing the first two games in the series.

Our Take
Suzuki has an uphill battle in front of him, one it may be hard to win. It seems to me that having such a long-awaited, highly-anticipated game comes with a big pro and con. The pro, perhaps most obviously, is the game stands a good chance of being successful, and one could surely argue that it already is. The con, however, is that Suzuki is facing a lot of expectations, from a lot of people. One year after Kickstarting his game, his approach seems dicey, at best. Being this secretive with a game people have invested a lot of money and time into could end up being to his detriment. It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out, and I wish the best for Suzuki and his game, but, as of now, I have my reservations about how good this game will actually be. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Report: You Can Finish Watch Dogs 2 Without Using Deadly Force Once

The official PlayStation blog recently interviewed Game Director Danny Belanger about how Watch Dogs 2 was separating itself from the original game. The biggest change? Apparently you'll be able to go through the entire game without killing people.

It's worth noting that it's the author of the post that says this, and not a direct quote from Belanger itself, but the quotes immediately following the statement seem to support it:

“The player has the freedom to play the way they want,” explains Belanger.

“We’re using three playstyles to talk about the game. The combat hacker — who is more proactive and uses hacks to take down people. There’s the ghost hacker — they can use hacks to distract and make noises. And then there’s the trickster hacker. They can finish a whole mission without actually physically being there.”

You can read the entire post here on PlayStation's official blog. And be sure to check out our preview of Watch Dogs 2.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]

 

Our Take
I did not like the original Watch Dogs. In fact, I think it's pretty fair to say I outright hated it, mostly because of its failure to live up to its promising premise of a game about a hacker vigilante. Also, Aiden. Aiden is the worst. That said, it sounds like Watch Dogs 2 is shaping up nicely, refining what worked about the original game while addressing the criticisms it received. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

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