Not banned yet but Thailand’s killjoy regulators already have Pokemon Go in their sights

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Officials from Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) have revealed they are already looking at ways in order to prevent incidents from the new global phenomenon that is Pokemon Go.

The mobile game, which is due to be released in Thailand in September, has taken the world by storm and broken download records in the United States, Japan, UK and Australia, as well as in many other countries where Pokemon Go is available.

However, the game hasn’t been without controversy and has resulted in a wide array of incidents, both minor and major for people playing the game.

Aside from the countless reports of players suffering injuries while out walking the streets trying to ‘catch’ the virtual Pokemon characters, other more serious incidents have seen players lured to locations they are not familiar with and robbed or attacked.

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One player in the United States discovered a dead body while playing the game, while parents in the UK called for action after their children were directed to a back street sex shop which the game had made a designated ‘Pokestop’ – a place that allows users to collect eggs to help them catch more Pokemon.

According to the Bangkok Post, Takorn Tantasith, NBTC secretary-general, said regulators are looking at measures to prevent similar incidents from happening in Thailand

“We will call a meeting with major mobile operators to seek ways to prevent those incidents from happening here, especially public safety risks,” he said.

Mr Takorn added that mobile operators may be asked to display a warning on the risks of playing the game.

“People should be aware of the risks and not go solo on their hunt for monsters in unfamiliar places at odd hours. Underage players should have their parents closely monitoring them, bearing in mind that their own safety is more important than catching monsters,” he add.

However, Mr Takorn moved to assure fans that as of yet, the NBTC has no plans to intervene in the release of Pokemon Go in Thailand but did want to address potential issues surrounding the game.

“Thailand had as many as 40 million people connecting to the internet on their smartphones in 2015 and they spent almost six hours a day on their phones, so the mobile game will definitely be a big hit here too. So we have to think about prevention,” Mr Takorn added.

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