Milwaukee County, WI officials have sent a letter to Niantic, Inc. – the company which created the summer smash-hit smartphone game Pokemon Go – “demanding it comply with county ordinances which require a permit before placing any Pokemon Go site in a county park,” reported WISN.
“Parks director John Dargle says the county is only asking Pokemon to do what any organization must when it sets up an event here,” WISN’s Colleen Henry noted in a videotaped story.
A virtual scavenger-hunt game, Pokemon Go does not place actual physical objects anywhere but rather virtual objects discoverable by players using the app. In principle, the game is a cousin to geocaching, albeit one which county regulators arguably did not foresee when drafting the restrictions on the activity.
According to the county parks website’s guidelines for geocaching, “To place a physical or virtual cache” for discovery by participants in a game, “you must have prior written permission from the Milwaukee County Parks Land Manager.”
What’s more, it instructs applicants, “For each cache location, [you must] complete a separate Permit Request Form, provide a map (a Google Earth or similar map), and send them as attachments to your email to email@example.com ”
WISN found at least one Milwaukee Pokemon aficionado who thinks the county parks authority is missing the forest for the trees.
“From what I’ve seen, everyone plays respectfully here, everyone’s extremely polite, and I don’t know why people would not want the parks to be filled with people,” Andres Amaya told WISN. “I mean, that’s what parks are made for, right?”- by Ken Shepherd, The Washington Times