While Pokémon Go fever may be cooling down in the US, it’s still red hot in Taiwan, where gamers are losing their senses and their eyesight.
Apple Daily reports that a 31-year-old pregnant woman in New Taipei City visited a local hospital because she couldn’t see out of her right eye. Her doctor, Chen Yu-an, diagnosed her with macular degeneration and said that her condition had been made worse by the fact that she was addicted to playing Pokémon Go.
Chen also said that another one of his patients was having trouble with his eyesight because of his obsession with the massively popular mobile games. In the three weeks since Pokémon Go was released in Taiwan, he says that the number of patients he sees has increased by 20%, EJ Insight reports.
Of course, it’s not just Pokémon Go, staring at anything for an overly-extended period of time is a bad idea, especially if you suffer from eye problems. Earlier this year, one Nanjing woman nearly went blind after an 18-hour Korean drama marathon. Conversely, an elderly lady from Harbin also almost her eyesight, after enduring a year of “punching therapy.”
Pokémon Go’s crazy popularity in Taiwan isn’t only hurting residents’ eyesight, it has caused some serious traffic jams as well. Last week, a video went viral on Facebook showing an insane mob stampeding through the streets of Taipei, chasing after a Snorlax.
Taiwanese authorities have increased the presence of traffic police, who write up innumberable tickets for dangerous behavior while gaming. After the game had been out for just 2 days, Taiwanese police had already handed out fines to 349 people they caught playing Pokémon Go while driving.
According to a survey done last week by EZchoice, one in three Taiwanese people play Pokémon Go. These 7.9 million gamers spend an average of 114 minutes playing the game each day.
While that much time playing the game may be good for your legs, it isn’t so great for your eyes.