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NSPCC deeply troubled about 'well documented child safety concerns' of Pokemon GO

Think about the kids

NSPCC deeply troubled about 'well documented child safety concerns' of Pokemon GO

One reason for the deluge of articles about Pokemon GO is its success.

But the main reason is how the location-based augmented reality game has radically changed the behaviour of its players.

Because you have to move around the real-world environment to collect Pokemon, the game and its players have become intertwined in all manner of real-world activities - from happy social meets to robbery and finding dead bodies.

And that's getting some organisations worried.

Child protection

One such is the UK National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), which has released a parent's guide.

Called Tips and advice for keeping children safe on Pokemon Go, it notes the risks for children range from spending money to meeting people they don't know face-to-face.

But, in a strongly worded statement a spokesperson has gone further.

It's deeply troubling that the app's owners have ignored many warning signals and well documented child safety concerns.

"It's deeply troubling that the app's owners have ignored many warning signals and well documented child safety concerns," they say.

"It would have been better if they had taken time to reflect on these and put their young users first.

"Pokemon Go is setting a precedent as the first augmented reality game on the market in the UK. It's very disappointing that child safety isn't at its heart."

In the crosshairs

Of course, it's not surprising that such an organisation has raised such concerns, which are not specific to Pokemon GO, but rather to its popularity and location-based foundation.

However, it does highlight the scrutiny that the game will now receive from the media, and various organisations and governments department as its global rollout continues.

In particular the US and EU now have very strong child privacy and data laws, which some companies have been fined for breaking.


Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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