Pokémon Go…and why I probably can’t play it.

Warning: Long post ahead.

Aaah! Gotta catch em all! Pokémon!

Being someone who has grown up with Pokémon, I can definitely say that I was extremely, extremely excited when Pokémon Go was announced. A game from an anime I love to watch? Catch these critters in real-time while walking around? Sign me the hell up!  I was convinced that it was going to be a whole lot of fun, albeit the fact that the craze would probably die down after a few days, as it does with a whole lot of Pokémon games.

Sadly, armed robbers had already started using the game as a way to lure players in to traps with the help of the geolocation feature. That would have allowed the robbers to anticipate the location and affirm the isolation of their victims. Added to that, one can add a beacon to a Pokèstop, which would draw more players. Way to be party poopers, guys.

{ Pokémon Go needs complete access to your camera, Google account, history, etc. FYI. Just putting that out there. }

However, I figured that since I loved Pokémon so much, I should probably give the game a Go (Eh? Eh? No? Ok.) and I decided to download the thing anyway. But again, doing the unnecessary things I always do, I Googled it before downloading it and I came across a huge list of countries that have banned the game.

The reasons for that range from hurting religious sentiments to national security threats to general safety of civilians. Not to mention the huge number of trespassing cases that have been cropping up, and the increase in number of accidents because of people who were ‘Pokémoning’.

And I think some of these countries make a solid case, because you’ve got Pokémon hiding everywhere, and while I wouldn’t ever accuse the makers of being untrustworthy, your camera is giving them access to a heck a load of information that they’re technically obtaining with your permission.

So let’s have a look at which countries have banned the game:

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s religious authority declared that Pokémon Go is forbidden in the country, stating that the popular smartphone game is covered by a fatwa that Saudi Arabia declared on the Pokémon franchise in 2001. The fatwa, or Islamic law, dictates that the game “encourages gambling and polytheism.” It warned Muslim parents to keep their children away from anything related to the franchise.


The game was deemed to be un-Islamic, and as a result, was banned from this nation. State officials said that the game “negatively influences the mind and harms the player or others without being aware of that,” prompting people to neglect their daily duties and instead, remain obsessed with imaginary characters


The State has banned the app’s use at government sites, citing security reasons. The citizens have also been cautioned about the safety risks it poses to the lives of the civilians by playing on their isolation

Bosnia and Belarus

There is a great chance that civilians playing the game might step on leftover land mines in these countries while chasing a Sandshrew. Due to the unpredictable location and nature of the Pokéstops’ real-life counterparts, these nations have advised their citizens against going to clearly demarcated land mine areas for their own safety.


A union of imams in Turkey have called for a ban of Pokémon Go in the country, saying it “undermines the prominence and significance of mosques, which are the most beautiful worship places in Islam.” referring to how some of the game’s Pokéstops and Gyms are located within mosques.

No credits, haha. Made this infographic.

Indonesia and Israel

The countries have prohibited their public officials from playing this anime game and remain concerned about it being a threat to national security. Soldiers have been warned not to play these games at bases.


Russian authorities also disapprove of Pokémon Go, saying that it resembles Western intelligence agencies and the Devil himself. Russian websites suggest it might be a CIA plot and there are other conspiracy theories about how this augmented reality game is being used for political destabilisation

Australia has declared that “I was chasing Pokémon” is not a legitimate excuse for trespassing or showing up at government establishments such as police stations.

While I don’t really think there’s some satanic organisation behind this adorable game, I do think that it’s best to exercise caution while dealing with it. People have died trying to take selfies and they didn’t even have to walk in to a fast-flowing river to do that! This game, on the other hand, features Pokémon in ridiculous places, such as the middle of lakes, police stations, places of worship and so on.

I think it’s rude and disrespectful indeed for frantic people to burst in to a temple or a church or a mosque, looking for Pokémon while disrupting everybody else’s praying time.

And it doesn’t matter if you believe in praying or not, but anybody with some sort of courtesy must agree that it is highly inappropriate to interrupt a serious ceremony that has some sort of value to the people participating in it.


Also, I think that this game is going to pave way for a lot of burglaries, because “I was trying to catch a Lapras” sadly could be the real story of some poor old soul who had just arrived at the wrong place at the wrong time or it could just be an alibi and nobody would be able to honestly tell the difference. Again, with Pokémon showing up at police stations and quite possibly government bases, it would be unwise for government officials to download this game.

However, this is something that has successfully brought people outside their homes and made them move around, and that is something I agree with. Being a Pokémon lover, I must say it would be quite the experience to catch em all like a real Master, the way we all playacted when we were little. Therefore, I am desperate for the game to be just that-an innocent game with a great concept, that has in no way been intended for harm. But that’s how a lot of harmful things start off, isn’t it?

And in today’s day, it is absolutely correct to say that there are plenty of people who would corrupt the game with spyware and other malicious software, making it difficult for this game to be trusted. All in all, I’d rather not download it. It’s a sad, tough decision, but it had to be made. I might not even be allowed to play it because, let’s face it, with all this drama going around, who knows how other governments are going to react to this digital delight?

As for the company that brought this game out, Niantic, I have just one thing to say to you- superb effort, I think it’s great for you to have even created this game. This is appreciation from a pure scientific and technological point of view. I’m sorry if it tanks because of security reasons, but know that you have created a game that all of us have longed for, even though we’ve only just realised it. I mean, tough luck people, but know that this would have happened with any other game, with any other company, with any other thing, simply because of the times we’re in today. However, it cannot be denied that you guys have fulfilled a lot of dreams, and to you I say hats off!


Hope this made you think!

Alpha ❤︎

9 thoughts on “Pokémon Go…and why I probably can’t play it.

  1. Good post, I said the same thing when it first came out. I walked down the road and the first Pokemon I came across was in a neighbour’s garden!

    I agree with what you say, though about it being a superb effort. I think that if they iron out some issues with where Pokemon appear and possibly even how close you need to be to them to catch them (make it a few metres so you don’t need to go in to the river or road!) it could be great.


  2. Thank you! I agree, they definitely ought to sort those issues out. However, it looks like our Pokemon-catching methods have evolved as well; I came across an article on drones being used to retrieve Pokemon from the middle of a lake!


      1. Oh well, at least you don’t have to constantly worry about running in to someone else’s backyard while playing! (Sorry, I’m just trying to see the positives here!).


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