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Pokemon creator concedes to regulator's ‘no go’ zones

BANGKOK: Pokemon Go developer Niantic has opted to comply with the telecom regulator’s demand to remove sensitive locations from the game’s scope after keeping silent for weeks.

technology, accidents, transport, police,


Bangkok Post

Saturday 27 August 2016, 08:30AM


‘Pokemon Go’ has gained huge popularity among Thai players after its launch on Aug 6. Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill
‘Pokemon Go’ has gained huge popularity among Thai players after its launch on Aug 6. Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill

The company yesterday (Aug 17) replied to a request from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) via fax, agreeing to open negotiations over the regulator’s request to set “no-go zones” for players in Thailand.

Niantic has assigned representatives from international law firm Baker & McKenzie (Thailand) to hold preliminary talks with the regulator.

“They’re not ignoring us and are ready to cooperate with the regulator’s request,” NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said in reference to Niantic’s statement.

The NBTC sent an electronic letter to Niantic on Aug 11, asking the US-based firm to set four “no-go zones” for players in Thailand in order to keep them out of restricted or dangerous areas.

The four areas encompass state property, temples, private land and dangerous areas such as roads, waterways and railways.

Mr Takorn said the NBTC has appointed deputy secretary-general Korkij Danchaivichit to lead discussions with Baker & McKenzie.

“The discussions are expected to be held next week,” he said.

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Pokemon Go has brought out the masses in search of virtual creatures, sometimes incurring the wrath of property owners and temple caretakers.

A social committee of Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly earlier said that Pokemon Go should be banned at sensitive sites, including Government House, the parliament and police headquarters. They further proposed it should be promoted at tourist destinations.

The NBTC has ordered that all mobile operators provide Pokemon Go players with guidelines.

The regulator also wants operators to set up parental controls on augmented reality games, including an automated alert system to let parents know when their kids are playing so as to avoid high mobile bills.

Police are also arresting motorists and pedestrians who play Pokemon Go on 10 major roads in Bangkok, allegedly to reduce accidents caused by the game.

Players can also face fines of up to B1,000 for engaging in risky behaviour.

Read original story here.

 

 

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