August 2nd, 2016, San Francisco, CA. – According to the Associated Press, Jeffrey Marder of West Orange has filed a lawsuit with the federal court to keep Pokemon Go players off of his property.
Mr. Marder’s backyard seems to be home to a virtual creature that is in high demand in the Pokemon world. In a press release by the Associated Press, “at least five people have knocked on his door and asked to get into his backyard.”
Pokemon Go players have often been criticised for violations in regards to privacy and property rights. Players have even managed to illegally enter a country while playing the game. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, on July 23rd, two teenagers from Alberta, Canada accidentally crossed the U.S. Border while playing the game. The teens were apprehended on the American side of the border near Sweet Grass, Montana which borders Coutts, Alberta. They were eventually returned to their mother on the Canadian side, and no charges were filed.
This style of game is relatively new territory on a mass level. While augmented reality (AR) games have been around for a few years, such as Ingress, Niantic Lab’s first entrance into the AR world, none have reached the scope or size that Pokemon Go has. As with anything new, there are bound to be mishaps. The odd glitches and curious events will eventually come out in the wash. However, when generating random virtual objects, it is difficult to establish proper boundaries on a global scale. That last thing anyone wants is a Pokemon Go player roaming through Auschwitz throwing Poke-balls around.
These types of games will undoubtedly remain popular for a few years; we should hope that the creators will be mindful that, while fun, even virtual creatures can cross the line of respect, and the law.
In regards to Mr. Marder and his pending lawsuit, at least the players who wanted to access his backyard had the courtesy to knock on his door and ask, instead of just jumping the fence.