Weeks ago the first reports of gays reprogramming Nintendo’s satellites to make their homes and nightclubs appear on Pokeradar sites started to surface. More men, typically college age, started to come forward to give accounts of how they were lured to a location where the rare Machop or Mr. Mime appeared to be. When they got there, they reported that they were thrown into a lavish mix of bright, flashing lights, buzzing phones and oiled up abs gyrating on their phone screens.[adinserter block=”6″].
Even more disturbing is that some of the men who were lured to these “Pokemon gyms” were purportedly told that there was a very rare Pokemon named “Diglet” and that these Pokemon like to hide inside of the body, ‘typically inside the intestines’. These conversations lead to some men allowing themselves to be accosted in such ways because they thought that was the only way the “Diglet” could be caught.
Iran caught wind of the story and quickly banned Pokemon Go, not wanting gays using the app to spread homosexuality in their nation. But in Western nations, legal analysts took up a different battle.
Imagine you are a property owner and a game developer has placed objects and sounds in an AR space on your property without your permission (as has no doubt happened at hundreds of Pokemon Go sites around the country.) These objects attract dozens and quite possibly hundreds of broken and unwashed teenagers to your property. Has trespass occurred? Or are players engaged in a cyber plane on which you have no exclusive property claim?
The attractive nuisance question is equally complicated. Attractive nuisance is a tort which holds that landowners must eliminate dangerous conditions on their land which attract children, as children may not appreciate the danger which attends, say, a high-voltage power line or a deep trench. An individual who fails to rectify an attractive nuisance on their property is civilly-liable to injury a child sustains on it, even if the child was trespassing.
Supposing an individual is injured on private property in the course of pursuing a rare Pokemon (for example, police in St. Louis say a coterie of loutish teenagers have used the app to lure players into nearly a dozen robberies.) Is the property owner liable for tolerating an attractive nuisance? Does Pokemon Go even fit the conventional definition of attractive nuisance?
Add to this consideration what has been reported by gays using the Pokemon Go! app as a live-action Grindr/Tinder application, using locales and businesses as preying grounds where they are setting up opportunities to do some grinding, then the legal ramifications become of paramount concern.