Games

Iran Authorities Have Officiallly Banned 'Pokemon Go'

By Victor Thomson , Aug 08, 2016 05:30 AM EDT

Iran is the first country that has officially banned the popular "Pokemon Go" augmented reality mobile game.

According to PCMag, Iran's High Council of Virtual Spaces has banned the "Pokemon Go" app. This makes Iran the very first country to officially ban the popular mobile game.

The Iranian High Council of Virtual Spaces did not give specific reasons for its decision to ban "Pokemon Go." The BBC reported that Iran's High Council has claimed the augmented reality game causes "security concerns." However, the Iranian authorities did not elaborate on what those security concerns were.

Tech analysts presume that Iranian authorities have banned "Pokemon Go" because the game can encourage users to play at all hours of the night. This situation can prove troublesome for the Islamic authoritarian regime in Iran.

According to Variety, a class-action lawsuit in the United States is centered on trespassing concerns. The same issue might be a reason of concern for the Iranian authorities, as well.

It is also likely that the authoritarian regime in Iran intends to stop the gathering in the same area for hours at a time of tens or hundreds of people playing "Pokemon Go." Some cases were reported where players were assaulted or robbed when walking around Pokestops.

Iran was already planning a ban last month. However, the Iranian officials have decided to first try to implement some potential restrictions by working with the game's creator, Niantic Labs. It is unclear whether Iran was considering banning people playing within particular sensitive areas or preventing them from playing the game for too many hours each day.

Even if Iran is the first country to ban "Pokemon Go," this is not the first ban imposed on the game. New York's correctional department has added gaming activities, including "Pokemon Go," on its list of activities considered parole violations for sex offenders. New York governor Andrew Cuomo has explained the measure in a statement made on August 1.

In a recent interview with The Straits Times, Singapore's minister for communications and information, Yaacob Ibrahim, has explained that the country is currently evaluating how "Pokemon Go" is impacting day-to-day life. He added that in case that there is anything to be concerned about towards Niantic's game, the Media Development Authority in Singapore will decide if the game is really needed there.

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