Following its release, Pokémon GO could be found on 11% of all phones in the USA. Granted, the number of active players has fallen in the millions since then, but you'd have been hard pressed to find anywhere in the world where budding trainers weren't taking to the streets to catch the rarest of the rare.
So, in order to stop the madness and prevent people in caps running onto their property, places started to ban Pokémon GO. From entire countries to pissed off corner stores, here are...
All the Places That Have Banned Pokémon GO
This is a no-brainer. I mean, of course authorities have banned people from using Pokémon GO while driving! Why wouldn't they? We've seen people drive into police cars, crash into walls and distracted motorists in Japan have actually caused deaths. Therefore, most recently in California, we've seen places around the world take certain measures to ensure moving cars are Pokémon free. It'll soon be illegal to operate the game on the sunny west coast while driving and, as I said already, this really just makes sense. Don't play this game while driving, people. Please.
Damn right! Though most places have actually embraced the Pokémon craze, with certain businesses actually contacting gaming outlets to see how they can turn their place of work into a Pokéstop (answer: you can't), some got sick of all the attention pretty damn fast. For instance, Sephora in Nantick Mall was one place that actually started kicking people out if they tried to play the game.
Oh well, at least other places are populated with more savvy business owners:
I suppose Now Loading was one of the offices that was encouraged, nay, required to play Pokémon GO following its release, but other work places had enough of all the balls. Pokéballs that is. What were you thinking?
Though it must have been frustrating, I love the sense of humor. What do you think, guys? Do you think people have actually been fired because they were using Pokémon GO and their balls inappropriately? I'll stop now...
Is it a bad idea to wander onto an army base in search of a particularly rare Pokémon? Unfortunately the answer is OF COURSE IT IS! People got guns in there!
Military personnel were quick to make statements about the security concerns they had over the game. After all, military bases weren't exempt when it came to wild appearances and we all know people out there who'd definitely risk their lives for that sweet Dragonite. But technically you were banned from entering these sites before the game. Digital Pokémon is not a valid excuse for scaling those fences or any form of trespassing. Okay?!
But the actual Israeli army took things one step further when they outright banned all military personnel from playing Pokémon GO!
The country’s military made the announcement on Monday, noting that the app’s requirement to access users’ locations and cameras, could potentially give away sensitive information such as army base locations and images from inside military buildings. - AP
Hmm, I guess that's a legitimate concern. Oh, while we're on the topic of national security, please don't attempt to enter Area 51 for any reason, especially if it's just for a virtual pocket monster. They got aliens up in there.
Countries & States
There are a few countries that have expressed concerns over Niantic's hit. Let's see what they had to say.
- Saudi Arabia - The fatwa, or Islamic law, dictates that the game “encourages gambling and polytheism.” The religious authorities in the country have banned Pokémon related content before and said that previous bans extended to this little game.
- Egypt - The game was forbidden by Islamic authorities in Egypt on July 14. Declaring the game un-Islamic, officials in the country said that the game “negatively influences the mind and harms the player or others without being aware of that,” and that people become obsessive, neglecting their obligations at work and worship.
- Iran - Iran is one of the few places that has completely banned its citizens from playing the game. We discussed this at length in the past and the ban offers a rather fascinating insight into Iran's policies on entertainment and the arts.
- New York - The State of New York imposed a ban on some 3,000 registered sex offenders from playing Pokémon GO, after they expressed concerns over the safety of children.
- Indonesia - Indonesia has banned its police force from using the game while on duty. Which makes a lot of sense, really.
Have you been hit by a Pokémon GO ban?
Check out the hilarious Honest Game Trailer for Pokémon GO: