French Mayor Seeks Ban On “Anarchical Settlement” Of Pokémon Go Characters

Wherever Pokémon Go players roam, it seems there’s bound to be someone who doesn’t want anything to do with the virtual creatures. Like in France, where the mayor of one village wants to banish the “anarchical settlement” of Pokémon Go characters that have taken up residence in his “territory.”

Bressolles Mayor Fabrice Beauvois said he’s mailed a decree to Niantic and The Pokémon Company, ordering them to remove the virtual creatures from the village of about 800 northeast of Lyon, the Associated Press reports.

In that decree, he details how the hunt for Pokémons puts pedestrians and drivers in danger because players aren’t paying attention to anything but their phones. He told the AP that his ban is only targeting the companies that make Pokémon Go, not the players, decrying the settlement of characters on the “territory” of his village without prior permission.

“When a cafe or a restaurant owner wants to open a business in any French town, they have an obligation to request prior authorization to the mayor. The rule applies to all people wishing to set up an activity or occupy a space on a public property. So it applies to Niantic as well, even though their settlement is virtual,” Beauvois told the AP.

He says the game is spreading in a “contagious” way that could lead to a “dangerous addiction” among the youths of the village, and that it’s his job to ensure order in the area.

“They (Niantic developers) use the entire planet as a playground,” he said.

Niantic has removed game stops from certain sensitive places, including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Japan’s Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and Cambodia’s genocide museum, as well as other spots that have asked to be removed, like daycare centers.

French mayor bans ‘anarchical’ Pokémon settlement in village [Associated Press]