Town Wants To Ban Pokémon Go After People Actually Use Public Parks

Image courtesy of Eduardo Woo

Businesses, museums, and homeowners have asked to be removed from the augmented, monster-filled reality of the game Pokémon Go. The city of Des Moines in Washington State is taking it even further, though: the government is tired of sending police to manage the swarms of Pokémon trainers in its waterfront park, and wants to ban the game.

Des Moines is following the lead of a small French village where the mayor wanted to stop the critters from spawning without permission. What’s this city’s problem with the game, though? The problem isn’t the game itself, but its players, who officials claim are drinking, smoking pot, making noise, and leaving behind litter in the city’s waterfront park.

“We’re talking 150, 200 people down at the marina, and we’re talking at night,” a police sergeant explained to the Seattle Times. The city simply isn’t used to dealing with that number of people at its parks after hours, and has tried hiring security guards for the park as well as sending extra police patrols through.

The problem, the harbormaster pointed out, is that the the game is only the first of what will probably be many augmented-reality games that could send people to wander around outside of their houses.

Niantic, the company behind the game, does have a process available to remove inconvenient stops and gyms that are intruding on real life. The town has applied to have its public spaces removed from the game, and is waiting for a response. Businesses can keep any stops that they happen to have.

Des Moines fed up with Pokémon Go players, asks to ‘opt out’ of game [Seattle Times]

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