What Should the Government Do When 'Pokemon Go' Causes Real World Damage?


Video games are often in conversation with “real world” events, and last year’s Pokémon Go literalized that idea with augmented reality mechanics that charged players with heading out into the world and capturing beloved pocket monsters in parks, restaurants, and even memorials. The game drew massive crowds, whether it was to capture monsters or to attack digital gyms with real-world locations. With so many people, there were bound to be negative effects on some public property.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/qvzp4m/what-should-the-government-do-when-pokemon-go-causes-real-world-damage


Personally I feel the players should be held responsible. The game isn’t telling people to go out and vandalize parks and trespass on private property, the players should have the common sense to not do these things.
That said I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea if the games had a popup on launch that said “Please remember to obey local laws and be aware of where you are when playing”.


Yeah, but these games still do encourage people to do these sorts of things, even if it’s just an unintentional side effect of the systems they’ve designed.
And this will become even more of a problem as more and more companies start jumping on the AR bandwagon.

And the idea that you should be able to trust the average person to be reasonable and make smart decisions seems to contradict pretty much all of human history.


Yeah, I’m not feeling a lot of sympathy for the parks department that had to rely on even more carceral-indentured labor to clean up litter. Heaven forbid people actually using the public space they already paid for, a politician worth their salt should be trying to get more developers to set AR games in their parks, and incorporate then into a virtuous cycle of public activity.