In late August 2016, Italian bishop Antonio Staglianò threatened publicly to take Niantic Labs and Nintendo, creators of the wildly popular smartphone game Pokémon GO, to court.
The bishop, well known for being outspoken, says the game, which uses augmented reality and
has captured the imaginations of old and young across the globe, turns users into “walking dead”.
Pokémon GO challenges players to use the GPS on their phones to track and catch cartoonlike
monsters hiding out in “real-life” environments such as supermarkets, open woods and police stations.
In July, three teenagers playing the game were robbed at gunpoint in a north London park and forced to hand over their mobile phones. Since then, a number of strange and unfortunate incidents related to Pokémon GO have occurred around the world.
In the US, a teenager on a Pokémon hunt found a corpse floating in a lake in Riverton, Wyoming. In various countries, the game has been linked to injuries of all sorts, including pedestrian hit-and-run incidents and vehicle smashes.
The most serious threat by far is that paedophiles will manipulate the game to lure children into unsafe places. A British parent told the Daily Mail that she had conducted such an experiment. Within minutes, she said, several children had turned up unsupervised after she had posted a false lure.
Category: Summer 2016