I am on record as being skeptical of Pokemon GO. I downloaded the game day one and deleted it a couple of days later. A combination of boredom and privacy concerns is what influenced my decision, but that’s not the point here. The point is, soon after the game’s release, increasingly ridiculous headlines started to roll out. Two Canadian dudes got themselves detained at the border. A dating service, PokéDates, was launched. Some kid crashed into a f*cking cop car. This guy got himself caught cheating on his girl. There’s that guy who quit his job to become a full-time
virgin “Pokemon Trainer.” One guy fell into a lake while live streaming his Pokemoning on Facebook. There’s the Minnesota man who almost got himself shot. And just this past weekend, although coincidental, a college baseball player was tragically shot while playing.
While Pokemon GO has yet to be officially released in Iran, that hasn’t stopped the country’s government from banning it. According to NBC, Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, a deputy in the country’s Internet Supervisory and Monitoring Committee, announced the game would be blocked for security reasons. Khoramabadi told the Tasnim News Agency:
“Because this game combines virtual and real space as well as other issues … this game can, from a security point of view, create problems both for the country and people.”
Although the game has not been “officially” launched in Iran, players have been able to download it by using software that throws off the GPS location on their cellphones.
Pokemon GO has been downloaded more than 100 million times and is now available in more than 50 countries. Iran is the first one to make it illegal.