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Pokémon Go! target of trespassing lawsuit

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Image: Telegraph

Pokémon Go! has become something of a phenomenon, both because it taps right into that sense of 90’s nostalgia that seems to be hitting the millennial generation pretty hard right now, and because it seems singularly distinguished in its capacity to have grown men and women chasing invisible monsters through bushes, busy streets, and into the middle of crowded funerals, all while they have their heads glued to the screen of their mobile devices.

The funeral thing isn’t a joke by the way. There was a cemetery that actually banned people from playing Pokémon go! because they kept wandering in and disrupting wakes.

Speaking of disruptive Pokémon hoarding, this was far from an isolated incident. Pokémon players have made themselves a nuisance at a variety of wildly inappropriate locations. Here’s just a quick run down of some of the establishments that have found Pokémon players so disruptive they’ve felt it necessary to issue blanket bans: The US Holocaust Museum, The Hiroshima Memorial, which commemorates the victims of the world’s only use of atomic weapons in conflict, hospitals, and the entire nation of Iran, though Iran is known to be pretty quick about banning things so maybe it’s not just the players that are the problem there.

That aside, the players have been a pretty serious blase about respecting private property, victims of nuclear weapons, or even basic human decency. Players have been so voracious that one may have been trying to break into a stranger’s house in pursuit of a Pokémon only to be shot as a result in Guatemala.

And proving that things don’t change that much, this whole Pokémon craze has basically followed the trajectory of the first. In the beginning, everyone is excited and thinks it’s cute, then it becomes kind of annoying, and then the first wave of legal actions.

But things move a little faster in the digital age than they did back in the flannel-clad era of the trading card game, and Pokémon Go! is well ahead of schedule, having already been the target of a lawsuit focusing on, you guessed it, trespassing.

The lawsuit targets the developers of the game and accuses them of having “shown a flagrant disregard for the foreseeable consequences of populating the real world with virtual Pokémon without seeking the permission of property owners.”

So basically, the lawsuit says they were negligent in creating a game that demanded people run all over the place looking for digital monsters and should be held responsible for the foreseeable damage that would result from people cramming themselves into heating ducts and kicking doors in while looking for Squirtles or whatever.

Is that really a reasonable burden? I mean should you expect people to act like jackasses when you are making a video game?

Then again if you’ve every played any game online you know that, yes, that is exactly what you should expect. You know what? I kind of talked myself into getting behind this lawsuit.

So, good luck frivolous lawsuit litigators, let’s put a stop to the Pokémon menace once and for all.

Wyatt is a writer at 301 Digital Media. You can follow him on Twitter @WyattRedd.

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