Online battles spill over into real life in Japan.

On 16 August, a 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault in Hokkaido. According to police, the man was walking on the street playing Pokémon GO on his smartphone when he punched another man in the face after he saw him playing Pokémon GO in his car.

▼ The incident occurred at the below location in Chuo Ward, Sapporo City, at 7:30 p.m.

Police reports reveal the altercation began when the 35-year-old Pokémon GO player came across a car parked on the wrong side of the road, facing the direction of traffic. When he looked inside, he saw the driver was playing Pokémon GO as well, and that’s when he lost it and kicked the vehicle.

The man inside, also in his thirties, got out of his car and chased the man, but when he caught up to him, he received two punches to the face. The driver managed to restrain the attacker, and handed him over to police who had rushed to the scene.

The assailant turned out to be a company employee who lived nearby, and upon questioning, he said he kicked the car because he was angered by the carelessness of the driver who parked on the wrong side of the road. “I looked inside and saw he was playing the same Pokémon GO game, and lost it because he was gaming while his car was parked in the wrong direction,” he said.

While the man claims he was more angry at the direction of the parked car rather than the game, people in Japan weren’t convinced.

“If he wanted the gym that much, he should’ve waited until later that night.”
“Did Pokémon GO install a real battle function?”
“Grown men playing Pokémon GO but fighting over it like children.”
“Bakamon GO”
[“baka” means “idiot”]
“Can’t they tell the difference between fighting in the game and fighting in real life?”
“Wow, there was a similar fight involving Pokémon GO in Hokkaido just the other day.”

It’s true that the smartphone game was at the centre of another incident of assault in Hokkaido just six days earlier, also involving a trainer who was seated inside a vehicle.

This eerie coincidence has some wondering if legendary pocket monsters might be breaking out of the game and infiltrating the minds of players in the area. Either way, it might be time for this Tokyo izakaya to open up a branch in Hokkaido to help stop any more Pokémon Go-related punch-ups from occurring. Because it’s nice to have a haven where trainers can relax and make friends, not enemies, through the game.

Source: Yahoo! Japan via Hachima Kikou 
Featured image: ポケモンGO (iOS) c2017 Niantic, Inc. c2017 Pokemon. c1995-2017 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc.
Photos © SoraNews24

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