Dangers of 'Pokemon Go': Motorways, cliffs, snakes and land mines

Story highlights

  • Thailand has asked to keep Pokemon away from specific "no-go" zones
  • Taiwan, Japan have also issued warnings over the safety implications of the game

(CNN)If you're looking to catch Pokemon in Thailand, don't get your hopes up.

Only days after "Pokemon Go" made its long-awaited debut in the country, the nation's temples, schools and the Royal Palace grounds were declared off limits thanks to Thailand's telecoms regulator.
    Thakorn Tanthasith, the secretary general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC), said late Tuesday it will be asking Niantic, the company that developed "Pokemon Go," to help keep Pokemon away from four "no-go" zones: government property, religious places, private buildings and dangerous areas like roads and canals.
    Thakorn also said mobile companies have backed a suggestion that people not be allowed to play after dark in order to avoid accidents.

    Smartphone zombies

    The augmented reality game is available in nearly 70 countries and uses smartphone cameras to superimpose Pokemon in real world settings.
    The app has brought thousands of people outside, roaming around neighborhoods while fixated on their screens -- and not on their surroundings -- on a quest to capture the creatures.
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    However, the level of distraction among pedestrians playing the game is becoming a cause for concern.
    Taiwan's National Freeway Bureau requested Wednesday Niantic make game-play off limits on the country's highways, motorways and rest stops.
    More than 1,200 Taiwanese players received traffic fines in the first three days of the game's launch. Most were caught playing the game while riding their motorcycles, Taiwan's official Central News Agency reported.
    Taiwan's Railways Administration has also banned people from playing the game in its stations, trains and railway tracks.
    Japanese authorities issued guidelines to coincide with the game's launch in that country last month, asking players not to walk while playing on train platforms, reminding them to be careful of heat stroke and to carry extra batteries.
    Brunei's Transport Department also urged Pokemon players to put safety first.
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    And the dangers go beyond traffic and trains: A non-governmental agency in Bosnia warned players to beware of landmines while trying to catch Pokemon, and two men in California ignored warning signs and fell off a cliff when playing the game.

    Unwelcome visitors

    While "Pokemon Go" may be getting more people outside to visit places they normally wouldn't, some don't appreciate where their guests are playing the game.
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    The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Cambodia banned people from playing the game there Wednesday, according to local media.
    Taiwan's National Palace Museum has also declared its exhibition halls off limits for "Pokemon Go."
    Those bans follow appeals last month from both Arlington National Cemetery and the Holocaust Museum in the Washington area for players not to go looking for Pokemon on their sites.
    The Baroda Museum in the Indian state of Gujarat is also prohibiting "Pokemon Go" players from entering its premises.
    The curator told CNN that players disturbed other visitors by bumping into them. He also said it was a safety issue, because there are poisonous snakes that wander the museum's outdoor areas.
    "Pokemon Go" responded after concerns were raised and set up a link for people to report sensitive locations on its website.

    Fatwas issued

    Islamic leaders in India and Malaysia have issued fatwas, or religious rulings, against "Pokemon Go."
    Mufti Mohammed Saleem Noori from the Dargah Aala Hazrat religious institution in India's Uttar Pradesh state told CNN the game is addictive and will make people go into places like temples, mosques, churches and even high security zones without a second thought -- because they're too fixated on catching Pokemon.
    Malaysia's Department of Islamic Development says the game can be harmful, because it may lead players to intrude on the personal space of others, give rise to carelessness which may cause accidents, cause people to have angry outbursts if they lose and make some addicted to their smart devices.