China Bans Pokemon GO and Other AR Games

Posted by at 8:53 am on January 10, 2017

The Chinese government has taken a firm stand against the location-based monster catching game, Pokemon GO, as well as similar AR mobile experiences. China’s reasoning? That such pose a threat to the lives of players.

Pokemon Go tasks you with walking around the real world in order to catch virtual creatures dubbed Pokemon. As such, it can potentially lead you into a dangerous situation without you noticing since your eyes are glued to the screen. There a number of reports of mishaps after the game’s launch ranging from people being hit by cars or robbed while playing the game, to particularly grim cases, such as that of a girl who allegedly stumbled upon a dead body while looking for pocket monsters to catch.

In any case, the Chinese government won’t be changing its mind until the “potential security risks have been evaluated.” Some of said risks include the “threat to geographical information security and the threat to transport and the personal safety of consumers,” says China’s Digital Publishing Assosiation.

An evaluation of the risks of AR location-based games in China has been allegedly prompted by the countless Pokemon Go clones on Android created by Chinese software developers. Whether Niantic will take any measures to make its game more “secure” for the world’s top smartphone market remains to be seen.

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