Due to Pokemon GO’s location-based play, Iran’s High Council of Virtual Spaces initially reached Niantic to discuss how much they would co-operate with them before making a decision on banning it. Still even at the country’s new restriction, residents still discuss the game over social media and are still able to play it. Iran’s High Council of Virtual Spaces oversees activities online in Iran, cited “security concerns” when banning the game on Friday.
According to a leading Saudi cleric, a fatwa (religious ruling) issued against an earlier Pokemon card game also applied to the new mixed-reality app. As seen on BBC, “The 16-year-old edict said the game contained “forbidden images” and violated an Islamic ban on gambling”.
Recently individuals were arrested for driving and playing the game in Taiwan, some had also been arrested for straying into military bases while playing the game. Other countries, police and government agencies have issued warnings to those playing the game. Lin Chuan, Taiwan’s premier, issued a warning on his Facebook page, saying: “Catch the rare creatures, but don’t let accidents catch up with you!”
Earlier on Pokémon Go’s developers Niantic removed all gyms and creatures from the atomic bomb memorial park in Hiroshima after a request from city officials. Until Thursday, the park was home to some Pokéstops and gyms, which attracted players to the area. No Pokémon can be found there as of Saturday.
Although Niantic now issues warnings upon the game’s start-up, multiple stories hitting the news on safety and trespassing issues might still lead to a ban placed on the game in other countries.
Pokémon Go is a free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game developed by Niantic for iOS andAndroid devices. It was initially released in selected countries in July 2016. In the game, players use a mobile device’s GPS capability to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on the screen as if they were in the same real-world location as the player. The game supports in-app purchases for additional in-game items.