The week in Pokemon: home invasions, armed robbery, police militarization

The Street finds uses for things…


A group of armed robbers used the crowdsourcing tool for pointing players to Pokestops to drop pins in secluded corners of Missouri shopping center parking-lots, where they stuck up their Poke-playing victims.

Yeesh, I was at the mall trying to find stuff with my kid this weekend. Better keep alert…

I don’t have one of those phones with the picture; can I get this on my desktop?

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Hmm… seems legit.


Mr. Bells walked over to the park last night (it’s right next to a busy road, no concerns of muggers in plain sight over there) and met a bunch of people hanging out there. You’re right, there’s not a whole lot of game there, but we’re all going to meet our neighbors and learn about our town and that’s pretty cool. I discovered a Pokestop that’s apparently some kind of private “geek professionals club”. Gotta check that out for real.


“US Government should team up with Nintendo of America to make polling
stations special Election Day PokeStops for a record voter turnout.”

Wait, wouldn’t this encourage people to visit as many polling stations as they can? I mean I grew up near Chicago hearing the moto “Vote early, vote often”, but “Gotta vote at them all” might be taking it a bit far.


I started Pokemon Go on Sat. It’s digital crack. I got up early this morning so I could hit a park with some PokeStops and try to catch more. Then this happened.


Thank the maker I have a Windows Phone and not tempted by this tom foolery!:unamused:


Recognizing that this was just a joke (but going off on a tangent anyway): I hate the way people talk about increasing voter turnout as if that’s inherently good. Turnout is a proxy metric for civic involvement. If you figure out a way to get a lot of uninvolved people to vote, then you’ve made turnout better and the election results worse.

(For example, municipal election in Austin, TX recently became less frequent so they could sync up with the four-year Presidential election. Yes, they have a lot more turnout for Comptroller elections now… but you also have hundreds more people flipping a coin on two people they’ve never heard of for an office that they didn’t know existed, because, “why waste the vote?”)

Now if you can figure out a way to generate a Pokemon every time someone proves they read and meaningfully understood a League of Women Voters election guide, that’s something I’d be in favor of.


Can we think about the benefit it might have to changing people’s biased viewpoints if they’re playing and see people of color out at all hours, in all kinds of places, playing the same game and being friendly?

Look at that, they were never a threat to you at all.

That’s what I’m seeing around where I live. I live in a mostly white, conservative area.

The robbers were immediately apprehended too.

First of all, the police are playing this game and know where the stops are. They patrol them. There is a stop next to the road near my house and people do drive-by power-ups. You know that’s what they are doing when you’re behind them and they hit the brakes at the exact instant the stop opens up in the game. Sure enough, the other day there was a county cop right there trying to catch people driving with their phone in their face.

Second… if you’re dropping lures to get your victims to come to a stop, you’re playing the game and your activity is being logged. If a serious crime is committed using the game, all it will take is a subpoena to get the info of everyone who was there when it happened.

CBC has an interview with him. Not much really happened.

Given that he seemed amused in what I could read, I figured that was probably the case.

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