Pokémon Go home: Iran first country to ban Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go has created considerable controversy since its release in July, including in the Middle East. Al-Azhar University in Cairo declared it ‘forbidden’ and a Lebanese man was arrested for playing the game, amidst other issues. But nobody went to far as to ban it. That is until Friday when a Iran banned Pokémon Go, citing “security concerns,” BBC reports. Iran is the first country to ban the game.
Iran’s High Council of Virtual Spaces, which monitors internet issues in the country, made the decision. Other reports say Iran did not specify any further reasoning, but Pokémon Go has raised concerns over the safety of playing the game in public worldwide. Users’ eyes are often glued to their screens, making them unaware of their surroundings, and the game is played a lot in public spaces where pokémon are abundant.
Al-Azhar cited similar security concerns in their ruling. Others have accused the game of being a ploy by governments to spy on people.
Whether tech-savvy Iranians will find a way to circumvent the ban and keep playing in the Islamic Republic remains to be seen.
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