French Village Bans Pokemon GO

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Pokemon GO is an amazingly wonderful and horrendously terrible game all at once. At the same time that the game is bringing together communities, getting people out of the house and even helping people find love, it's also getting people struck by lightning, getting people robbed, and even costing lives. While it's easy to argue that all of these are the players' fault, the fact is that most of the players would likely have not been in those situations had it not been for them playing the game. Between mishaps, security risks, and just plain distractions, the people wanting Pokemon GO banned can make a pretty good case. For Mayor Fabrice Beauvois of the French village of Bressolles, that case is mostly just that Niantic did not ask for permission before bringing the game live within the village's bounds.

In a letter to Niantic about the game's deployment, the mayor calls for the game functionality to be completely disabled within the village limits on the primary grounds that any business setting up shop in the village has to get his personal permission, and that Niantic didn't do that. In the letter, he also points to his duty to maintain order and peace in the village, and the ways that Pokemon GO could interfere with that goal. He points out that the game could become an addiction for adults and children alike, which could seriously change life in the village.

While it's still up in the air as to whether Beauvois would allow villagers to hunt down Pokemon if Niantic asked nicely, a full and permanent ban isn't entirely off the menu, since this village would not be the first place to ban the game. All of Iran is a Pokemon-free zone, as is the US Holocaust Museum, a place where playing was previously frowned upon as disrespectful, but was still possible. However this saga may end, the precedent has already been set; banning Pokemon GO and having Niantic disable the game on the server side is not only possible, but is happening on an increasingly wide basis. While that doesn't exactly mean that Pokemon GO will have a short lifespan, if troublesome player habits like plowing into cop cars and walking off of cliffs don't disappear soon, the game may just disappear or become heavily restricted like most other objects and activities throughout history that have proven to be problematic in the wrong hands.

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