French Officials Propose Banning Some 'Pokémon Go' Creatures From Schools

NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images / NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

Sorry, Parisian Pokémon Go fans: If you’re a student, the day might soon arrive when you no longer run into "legendary" animated monsters on school grounds. The Associated Press reports that France’s education minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, sees the game as a security risk—and she wants rare Pokémon kept out of educational settings.

On Monday, August 29, Vallaud-Belkacem told a news conference that she plans to meet with representatives from Niantic Inc., the San Francisco-based software development company that created the popular augmented reality mobile game. Surprisingly, Vallaud-Belkacem's main problem with Pokémon Go isn’t that it distracts children from their studies. Instead, she says she's worried that strangers might enter schools in search of the game's more elusive creatures.

Principals can already submit an online application for Niantic to take their school off the game’s global map. But considering the potential risk Pokémon Go poses to young students, Vallaud-Belkacem thinks the app’s most sought-after animated creatures should be ousted from youth academic settings all together. And since France remains in an official state of emergency due to recent terrorist attacks, some people might agree that it's better to be safe than sorry.

Officials in Paris aren’t the only ones who take issue with Pokémon Go’s play-anywhere approach (although they may be one of the first to propose banning "legendary" creatures from a location). The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum were removed from the game after both organizations said it was was inappropriate for visitors to play it in a place of remembrance for war victims. And earlier this month, the mayor of Bressolles, a small village in central France, tried to ban Pokémon Go from the village, saying it caused too many pedestrians and drivers to look at their phones in traffic. 

[h/t Associated Press]

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