Pokemon GO seemed to win the hearts of all countries thanks to its modern source of nostalgia based on powerful technologies like augmented reality and location-based gameplay. Some of the most beloved cartoon characters of the 90s, the pokemons, have been revived in this mobile app which brought it an impressive number of 500 million worldwide downloads. However, Pokemon GO is now at risk of being banned from China. An official statement explained that its augmented reality feature may not be compliant with Chinese safety standards.
The upcoming decision taken by the Chinese State Censor is not concerning Pokemon GO alone, but other games based on augmented reality also. There are still millions of avid players who search their neighborhoods hoping to find and catch some pokemons. However, China doesn’t see this type of gameplay any close to their safety standards. As a consequence, at the moment Chinese citizens have not received this popular app on their smartphones.
For the time being, the Chinese State Censor is reassessing the risk this type of mobile games can pose to its citizens. It seems that the main concern is that Pokemon GO players have to leave the comfort of their homes to play the game. The application uses the phone’s GPS to record the user’s region. Based on the collected data, the game initiates a location-based map that reflects the real one with some changes. Players need to consult this in-game map to track down nearby pokemons. As a consequence, they have to move within real life landscapes, be it crowded parks, main arterial roads or private territories.
This is why the State Censor might decide that this type of games that require numerous travels to nearby locations is threatening the lives and properties of people. Moreover, there have been taking place certain events in countries that allow the use of Pokemon GO and that are related to its gameplay. A series of car accidents, muggings, and even death cases happened because of this game. This is why the Asian country is skeptical about the nature of Pokemon GO.
The Chinese State Censor is also concerned about the Google Maps feature. This means that the players can be tracked down by people that don’t have good intentions. For the moment, Niantic company has made no comments related to this situation. People have to wait and see the verdict of the State Censor in regards to AR games.
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