STATES CHRONICLE – A homeowner from West Orange, New Jersey, has sued Nintendo Co. and Niantic Labs, the developer of the 9-million-user-plus mobile game Pokemon Go, because the app deprived him of the “use and enjoyment of his property.”
The man, who filed a class action lawsuit, is upset that the game makers have designated some locations including private property as Gyms and PokeStop without owners’ consent.
PokeStops are sites where users can gather and collect rewards. Pokemon population density is also higher near PokeStops, so players usually converge in these locations. Gyms are also a major point of attraction because in these venues Pokemon Go teams can fight.
The New Jersey man told court that at least five players knocked on his door asking permission to go hunt for pokemons in his backyard. The complaint reads that the defendants have displayed ‘flagrant disregard’ for the nuisance and other ‘foreseeable consequence’ of placing Pokemon Go hotspots on or nearby private properties without asking owners beforehand.
Pokemon go players also known as ‘trainers’ are encouraged by the app to take long walks in their search for virtual creatures. When they spot one of these critters known as pokemons, they can capture them with their smartphone and store them in-app. The very slogan of the game is “Gotta catch em all.”
Currently more than 9 million players access the application on a daily basis. Yet, not everyone is equally thrilled about the app. One Vancouver man posted a sign on his property a week after the game’s official release asking Pokemon Go players to go “get a life” and to keep away from his yard.
An Australian neighborhood was also irked by hundreds of Pokemon Go players flooding the streets of an otherwise-quiet location. Some gamers even entered mosques and museums in their hunt for virtual collectibles. Some of these incidents prompted a Turkish religious leader to call for a state ban on the wildly popular smartphone app.
In California a police department urged players to refrain from calling 911 and ask whether the police stations were populated by pokemons.
Niantic Labs has yet to reply to a request for comment while Nintendo, which co-owns the game, declined to comment. On July 31, however, the companies rolled out a patch asking players not to trespass properties where they have no permission to be.
Image Source: Pixabay