Video Games

Government considers first 'Pokemon GO' regulations

File photo - A woman uses a portable battery pack to charge her phone while playing the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. Players must keep the game open and their phones' GPS running to play the game, causing battery life to be a concern for players. (REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich)

File photo - A woman uses a portable battery pack to charge her phone while playing the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. Players must keep the game open and their phones' GPS running to play the game, causing battery life to be a concern for players. (REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich)

“Pokemon GO” players have certainly had their fair share of run-ins with the law this week — mostly on the wrong side of it. Two men sustained serious injuries and are facing possible charges after falling down a cliff in California chasing Pokemon. Two teens were arrested in Toledo after jumping fence into the Toledo Zoo following the digital creatures. And in LA, police are chasing after “Pokemon GO” players who wander on to random neighbors’ lawns.

But the app itself is now the target of lawmakers, who want to regulate the game, claiming that the app poses a significant risk to public safety, and the fun must end.

One New York Assemblyman is considering drafting some sort of restriction on the game, claiming that “Pokemon GO”, which involves battling digital creatures, could have “tragic real-world consequences.” Brooklyn Democrat Felix Ortiz, who is well known for curbing New Yorker’s fun (he’s led crusades against sugar, alcohol, and strip clubs), says that Nintendo has a “corporate responsibility” to make sure that its customers don’t make terrible decisions.

Senator Al Franken is also looking into “Pokemon GO”. The former SNL star and Minnesota Democrat has written a letter to Niantic, the company responsible for programming the augmented reality portion of the app, asking them how much information they’re collecting from users, and what they plan to do with that information.

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