Stop ‘catch­ing them all’ in Syd­ney

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

A small Syd­ney sub­ur­ban park that at­tracted thou­sands of Poke­mon Go play­ers, caus­ing the grassy spot to turn to mud, has dis­ap­peared from the pop­u­lar mo­bile game after complaints of chaos.

The back­lash in the Syd­ney sub­urb of Rhodes is the lat­est bat­tle be­tween avid play­ers of the aug­mented-re­al­ity game, which has been a huge hit since it was rolled out last month, and au­thor­i­ties un­happy with the crowds it can at­tract.

“Week­ends, par­tic­u­larly at night, there were up to 1000-1500 peo­ple in the park,” City of Canada Bay Coun­cil’s deputy mayor He­len McCaf­frey told AFP.

“The grass is no longer there and res­i­dents after three-and-a-half weeks were just over it,” she said of Peg Pater­son Park, which has a play­ground and is sur­rounded by tall apart­ment build­ings.

“When a rare Poke­mon was caught, there would be a cheer and cars would honk as the traf­fic was be­com­ing hor­rific. I spoke to some­body a cou­ple of days ago who was com­ing in from Pen­rith [45 kilo­me­tres/28 miles away] to play.”

The coun­cil en­cour­aged res­i­dents to com­plain di­rectly to the game’s de­vel­oper, US-based soft­ware com­pany Niantic, to ask for the park to be deleted from the game after they com­plained of “com­plete chaos” and rub­bish be­ing dumped.

“All 3 pokes­tops re­moved. Not a sin­gle soul left in the park. NOT ONE,” wrote a Face­book user late on Au­gust 1, while another added, “For the peo­ple still con­vinced that Rhodes is still the hot spot .... Let it go, mourn the loss .... It’s dead! GONE!”

The game – which has the tagline “catch ‘em all” – al­lows play­ers to chase virtual car­toon char­ac­ter mon­sters with their mo­bile phones, with the Peg Pater­son Park par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar due to the reg­u­lar ap­pear­ance of rare Poke­mon.

While Poke­mon Go has been praised as a fun way to get peo­ple out­doors, it has also at­tracted safety warn­ings about not walk­ing into on­com­ing traf­fic, stray­ing into re­stricted ar­eas or be­com­ing vic­tims of crimes. – AFP

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