Man Drowns While Playing Augmented Reality MMO Ingress

    As the build up of momentum is underway for virutal reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), and with the latest market predictions out suggesting that the industries will rapidly grow over the next five years, the growth is at a critical stage where negative press could stand in the way of mainstream adoption. Recently a man from Ireland drowned whilst playing the AR MMO title, Ingress, and this is not the first death to occur whilst playing the videogame.

    Ingress is a multiplayer AR title where the player uses their phone to explore another world projected into the real world all while they obtain objects, capture territory, and ally with other players to discover the origins of mysteriour energies. However for dublin-based player, Frank Maxwell, 48, the game took a turn for the worst when he carried on a mission into the early hours of 25th September and subsequently drowned after venturing the Poolbeg Pier after last contacting his teammates commenting that it was cold on Google Hangouts.

    This isn’t the first death to be reported in relation to Ingress, as a 16-year-old boy in Brazil, Gabriel Cavalcante Carneiro Leão, was knocked down by a bus whilst playing the videogame, which happened two years ago in 2014 before the death of Maxwell. The title has been downloaded more than 14 million times and is popular worldwide, playable on Google Cardboard mobile-based head-mounted display (HMD). It seems that these are the only two isolated fatalities in connection with playing in AR.

    The AR MMO is a title developed by Niantic Labs, who also developed the much-anticipated Pokémon GO which uses the same AR principles has Ingress, where players can join together to search out pokemon to beat and capture.

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