back to article Judge uses 1st Amendment on Pokemon Go park ban. It's super effective!

Milwaukee County's rules to keep its parks from being overrun by augmented reality gamers have been suspended by a judge over concerns that they violate the First Amendment. US District Court Judge JP Stadtmueller on Thursday granted plaintiff Candy Labs' request for a preliminary injunction, preventing the rules from being …

  1. Schultz
    Alert

    Using a public park for recreation...

    shows you how crazy those kids are nowadays.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Using a public park for recreation...

      beats staying home and vegging out all day in front of a TV screen

      (and I just say, take your trash with you when you leave, k-thx - give a hoot, don't pollute, etc. and we'll all be fine)

  2. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Phew, that means I can get on with my AR dogging app. To encourage people to go out into parks and the woodland obviously !!!!

  3. Jack of Shadows Silver badge
    Holmes

    Question: How are these different from a "flash mob? Personally, I can't see a difference at all, unless you call it on the cause for that occurance. So, what's the obligations of the participants of a flash mob?

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      In general, a flash mob gathering also would be protected by the first amendment. Some, or even all, of the participants might act in ways that violate the law or local ordinances, but that is an entirely different matter. The mob gathering place might have an effect, too: those in a flash mob that collected in the middle of a busy street or highway might well be arrested, perhaps for jaywalking or blocking the flow of traffic. (A content-neutral prohibition of that probably would pass a reasonable first-amendment examination).

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        @tom dial - The judge said the county needs to prosecute the actual perps not someone who 'organized' the 'event' - a rare bit of clarity and common sense.

        1. tom dial Silver badge

          "Prosecute the perps," as they could have done in the first place without enacting a probably unconstitutional ordinance.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Consider a band that wants to hold a concert at that park. They would need a permit, which obligates them in certain ways to the city. Such permits are pretty universal and for good reasons.

        But now, a company far away can easily appropriate that park for their own uses with no permit at all. The result might be a very large crowd (just like with the concert) making heavy use of the park, interfering with local's use of said park, and if something bad happens, no liability for the 'organizers.'

        In an ideal world, Pokemon Go would not be a problem, nor would concerts. But that's not how it really is. Large crowds of like-minded people suddenly appearing at the local park are at the very least quite intimidating, and potentially scary too if that crowd's mood turns ugly for any reason. This is why some are viewing the phenomenon as a threat. At least with permits there is some oversight.

        1. Martin Summers Silver badge

          "Large crowds of like-minded people suddenly appearing at the local park are at the very least quite intimidating"

          Oh tell me about it, I hate it when people pikachu when I'm going about my business in the park.

        2. Bruce Ordway

          liablility

          >>Large crowds of like-minded people suddenly appearing at the local park

          >>are at the very least quite intimidating

          No doubt. I'd blame warm sunny days.

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          back in the 60's the Ventures used to sit out on a beach [one with somewhat limited access, but still publically accessible] and practice with acoustic instruments (including bongo drums). I was 5 or 6 years old at the time, and we'd sit somewhat nearby on the beach. Then one day they had an actual concert out there, but I expect the concert required a permit.

          I doubt they had permits for practicing (with acoustic instruments) on the beach. So maybe the scale of the activity is what is in question. I suspect that random pokemon-go-ers aren't quite the same as a concert or a flash mob.

          1. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Oh wow! As a kid in the 1970s I grew up on a diet of Ventures and Shadows through my parents, they loved the Ventures. We used put on the Outer Limits album and watch our dog lose his marbles singing and howling along to it like a nutter! Ha ha!

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The walking dead

          "Large crowds of brain-dead people suddenly appearing at the local park are at the very least quite intimidating"

          How is this any different to the zombie apocalypse?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The walking dead

            Zombies don't use phones.

            At least, they didn't last time I checked...

            1. MK_E

              Re: The walking dead

              "send more paramedics..."

            2. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: The walking dead

              "Zombies don't use phones."

              Hmm, judging by the way most people move up the street when they have a mobile phone in their hand, I'd say that's probably not entirely true!

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: The walking dead

            I would think that the biggest difference is that zombies don't exist.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: The walking dead

              I would think that the biggest difference is that zombies don't exist.

              You've clearly never made the horrible mistake of reading youtube comments!

              (many of 'em certainly got the "brain dead" down pat!")

            2. Bitbeisser
              Devil

              Re: The walking dead

              Since the wide spread use of Facebook and texting on smartphones, I would not be sure about this anymore...

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Perhaps the State should create an AR package that earns the players points for going to Candy Crush (what a dumb arse name) office/bear pit or even better the self serving money grubbing lawyer's office and his residential area, on certain Saturdays and Sundays to ensure a good size flash mob.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Up

            "...or even better the self serving money grubbing lawyer's office and his residential area, on certain Saturdays and Sundays..."

            Precisely! What maxim number is it, that says "If it can be weaponized it will be."?

            Clearly no state can tolerate private companies that are able to direct large masses of trampling zombies ..ahem.. people, towards that company's 'shiza-listers,' no? (that's the goverment's job!)

            But gee.. will players let themselves be manipulated like a "zombie fleet," but in the flesh!?

            Okay, that does sound pretty cool...

            1. jake Silver badge

              Seriously people, use Subjects^WTitles. It helps with the lack of proper threading.

              "But gee.. will players let themselves be manipulated like a "zombie fleet," but in the flesh!?"

              Trump's in the Oval Office. Enough said?

        6. Trygve Henriksen

          re: In an ideal world, Pokemon Go would not be a problem

          I agree with big John;

          Imagine that part of a park is rented for a private gathering such as a wedding...

          Then someone in an AR game company plops down a 'Legendary Pokemon' with 'Perfect' fighting stats there...

          Even if none of the Zmombies drop a single candywrapper while on their way to their goal, they'll most likely ruin someone's very expensive day.

          Many places that are 'open to the public' can be rented for events. In fact, many of them need that extra income to pay for the upkeep. If events gets disturbed by AR gamers, it will 'get known' and less events will be held at those ventures.

          There definitely needs to be permits.

        7. Seajay#

          Ba(n)d analogy

          Consider a band that wants to hold a concert at that park. They would need a permit

          This is nothing like that. If a band want to hold a concert in the park and sell tickets then they want to be able to exclude people from an area of the park, it's obvious that you shouldn't be able to do that without a permit. Even if it's a free concert then you at least want to be able to exclude people from your stage. Also, you're going to be making a lot of noise which is going to affect everyone around you.

          There's none of that with Pokemon Go or similar. The only effect you have is that a bunch of people go to the park but that's pretty much the point of public parks.

          This looks to me like a case of "Go for the deep pockets". Some guy dropped some litter on your park. You could fine him for it but that requires some work. Maybe he was playing an AR game, or maybe he was using an exercise app which requires a bit of open space. Lets go for those companies because they are rich, even though they had absolutely nothing to do with the litter dropping.

        8. juice Bronze badge

          "But now, a company far away can easily appropriate that park for their own uses with no permit at all. The result might be a very large crowd (just like with the concert) making heavy use of the park, interfering with local's use of said park, and if something bad happens, no liability for the 'organizers.'"

          That scenario has been around for decades - see the old 90s illegal raves in the UK. Laws were passed in the UK to address that, and I'd expect the USA to have similar laws already in place.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amend this!

    If the US is so great, why do their most powerful laws appear to be amendments?

    1st amendment rights... 2nd amendment rights blah blah

    You guys live by rule of changed things, then bang on about how said changed things can't be changed..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Amend this!

      And what's more, amendments can themselves be amended or even repealed. See the 18th amendment and prohibition.

      1. Suricou Raven

        Re: Amend this!

        An amendment cannot be entirely repealed. There's no provision for that. Once it's on, it stays on. The 18th was not repealed - it is just countered by a later amendment, the 21st, which states that the 18th is repealed. The 18th is now a vestigial growth on the constitution - a no-longer-active bit of text, legally irrelevant, but stuck there as an eternal reminder that the US tried to ban alcohol and the attempt did not turn out very well.

        It's worth noting that when the time came to ban all manner of other recreational drugs, there was no need for an amendment to the constitution, as by that time the supreme court had ruled that such affairs were within the jurisdiction of the federal government under the commerce clause - even if an individual trade was not inter-state, the economic ties of supply and demand mean that all commerce is inter-state commerce, even if indirectly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Amend this!

          ... though on the recreartion drugs issue I think the key point in your explanation is that Federal government have jurisdiction over "commerce" with the result that I think the current situation is that states can pass laws to legalize their use but any purchases have, I think, to be done via cash only as banks (which have federal oversight) can't process payments. Hence, I remember a radio item on results of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado from a couple of years ago explained that one of the effects was the large number of armoured vans driving around to move all the cash that was being taken at shiops.

    2. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Amend this!

      The Constitution and its amendments were intended to define the limits of federal government action (and, with the fourteenth amendment, state and local government action as well). The SJWs who at present (since Citizens United) so hot to rewrite the first amendment need to be extremely careful that any reformulation does not come back to bite them.

    3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Amend this!

      Because a few states demanded the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments) to ratify the Constitution. The rest were added to clarify Presidential succession, extend and protect the right to vote, eliminate slavery and protect ex-slaves, and few important but more or less administrative issues (direct election of Senators and income tax).

    4. joed

      Re: Amend this!

      Funny there's no such protection of freedom of expression when equally bogus "terrorist" charges are pressed. FISA let's these be quietly swept under the rug and nobody can say a word. Not even a canary.

    5. Threlkeld

      Re: Amend this!

      It's an English idea. Blame William Penn. His Frame of Government for Pennsylvania incorporated a provision for his constitution to be amended as circumstances changed. It was just after the English Civil War and having a way to alter things without executing (e.g.) the king was pretty novel. The Founding Fathers, ~100 years later thought it was a neat idea. The rest is history.

    6. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Amend this!

      the story of the ammendments...

      Back when the U.S. Constitution was created, Jefferson and a few others realized that it limited and defined the scope of government, but it didn't specify what rights the people had that couldn't someday be violated. So they used the 'ammendment' process that they just invented to craft the 'Bill of Rights' which the states then ratified. They knew that gummint would eventually find a way to curb people's basic rights (despite the new Constitution), and wanted to protect them. Otherwise you'd end up with a Vlad Putin type president, and a willing congress, who'd want to go back to 'the way things were' (USSR in his case), and legislate censorship, blanket "fishing expedition" search warrants, and things like that. Obviously they didn't want THAT to happen to the new nation, so ammendment #1 was about freedom of speech, press, and religion. And the 2nd was about self-defense and a citizen militia [seeing the possibility they might have to defend the rest of them at a citizen level]. And at least 2 others were about legal rights for the accused. And so on.

      </history>

      OK not 'scientific content' just educational

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Amend this!

        Notice how the right to speak freely (Amendment 1) was directly backed up by the right to bear arms (Amendment 2). I wonder if they thought those two were connected somehow?

    7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Amend this!

      They are not laws, they are changes to the constitution, and, being in effect, articles of the Constitution.

      Read it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_amendment#United_States

      1. handleoclast Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: They are not laws

        @Destroy All Monsters

        They are not laws, they are changes to the constitution, and, being in effect, articles of the Constitution.

        They are laws. From Article VI:

        This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

        So, yes, amendments are changes to the Constitution and become, effectively, articles of the Constitution. And, being articles of the Constitution, they are the supreme law of the land.

        They are laws.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's an idea, rather than trying to make money out of it, speak to the developers and supply them maps of the park so people don't go trampling where they shouldn't, secondly employ rangers to monitor the park and fine people that drop trash in the park, thirdly get your schools to educate kids about why it's important to respect the environment. (albeit that's a bit difficult with Trumps position on climate change, I can't resist a good dig at the orange one.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Here's an idea, rather than trying to make money out of it, speak to the developers and supply them maps of the park so people don't go trampling where they shouldn't"

      Then they'll just target those areas. They're based out of state. How are they going to get prosecuted?

      "secondly employ rangers to monitor the park and fine people that drop trash in the park"

      A second app probably alerts those nearby of "bears" approaching ("Ranger's Coming!"), allowing them to wait until he passes.

      "thirdly get your schools to educate kids about why it's important to respect the environment."

      Kids these days are DEFIANT of authority. School is just another authority, and the parents either aren't present to stymie it or, worse, egg them on because they're just as defiant.

      1. quxinot

        >Kids these days are DEFIANT of authority. School is just another authority, and the parents either aren't present to stymie it or, worse, egg them on because they're just as defiant.

        "These days"?

        Have you not paid attention in history class?

    2. Turbo Beholder

      The tune is familiar, the lyrics are never-ending.

      Every problem, indeed, can be solved with "Everything can magically work out with some more tax money" and "Everybody must support degenerate clones of Lysenko".

      And if it somehow remains, this only means there's need for more other people's money and more cheerleading for quacks-of-the-season (or both at once: throwing more other people's money at quacks).

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      "educate kids about why it's important to respect the environment. (albeit that's a bit difficult with Trumps position on climate change ...)"

      You had me agreeing with you, up until the 'climate change' part.

      WHAT! PART! OF! NOT! THROWING! TRASH! ON! THE! GROUND! IS! IN! ANY! WAY! RELATED! TO! "climate change"???

      I prefer "responsible environmentalism". That means you keep your cars tuned up, don't waste water, sweep the gutters once in a while to keep the crap out of the storm drains, dispose of yard waste properly, pick up trash when you see it laying the ground (especially in front of your house), etc. and ESPECIALLY, dispose of your OWN trash in proper receptacles when you're at a public park [including the recycle one for recyclables, if there is one available]. And if some kid misses the trash can and runs off, go ahead and put it in for him if you're close by (or notify his parents).

      And how about THIS little factoid: Go to *ANY* left-wing gathering or demonstration, and look at the level of public littering it generates. Then, go to a Tea Party or Trump rally, and see how much THAT generates by comparison. i think you will find that CONSERVATIVES are more likely to pick up their trash and properly dispose of it than your typical LEFT WING or "Environmentalist" type.

      The reason is simple: lefties *FEEL* as if it's "someone else's job" to throw the damn trash away! Conservatives, on the other hand, see it as a PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY (something lefties have trouble with, apparently).

      Evidence "all over the place". I've seen MANY comparison photo montages pointing this out. Rush's web site might be a good start. The leftovers from 'occupy wall street' and the 'pussy hat protest' and the 'million man march' are good examples of what it looks like from "the left".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's called sarcasm.

        You can import it but the tariffs are going to be huge because of the orange one.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There is lots of trash at Trump and Tea Party rallies.

        It's just that when the rally is over they go back home.

  6. kain preacher Silver badge

    "Then they'll just target those areas. They're based out of state. How are they going to get prosecuted?"

    I wounder how you came to that conclusion. Oh and by the way they do exclude areas when asked.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > "Oh and by the way they do exclude areas when asked."

      Okay, say they do. What then happens when cities and even whole states start demanding Pokemon Go not use their areas of authority for these games? If that becomes the norm it will pretty much kill the game.

      So their promise to exclude is predicated on the assumption that few will avail themselves of this option. Should too many do so (or should it appear likely to happen) then the new games companies will be forced to declare that such blanket exclusion requests will no longer be honoured.

      1. jake Silver badge

        OK, I'll bite ...

        "If that becomes the norm it will pretty much kill the game."

        So the fuck what? Where is it written that my state/county/city exists to ensure that an out-of-state company can make a profit AT MY EXPENSE? Let 'em go under if they can't make a profit without including me as an asset ... especially without including me in the profit sharing!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: OK, I'll bite ...

          Jake, you seem to believe I'm pro-game here. Did I say that?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: OK, I'll bite ...

            Meta comment. Directed at the concept of the single sentence, not an indictment of any particular individual.

        2. Donn Bly
          WTF?

          Re: OK, I'll bite ...

          What you, and some local governments, seem to have forgotten is that the people using the parks aren't the game makers, but the LOCAL TAXPAYERS who already pay for the parks upkeep.

          The only thing that the game makers did was use public mapping data.

          Your argument basically states that GPS manufacturers cannot include your town and the streets therein because you consider it "yours".

      2. veti Silver badge

        What then happens when cities and even whole states start demanding Pokemon Go not use their areas of authority for these games?
        Then their legislators will have to explain to their voters why they can't enjoy this amazing phenomenon they've been hearing about everywhere else.

        I'm sure some cities will go that way. (After all, to this day the USA has counties that pretend prohibition was never repealed.) But not most.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this even still an issue?

    Funny - my kids and their friends played the game like crazy for about 6 weeks, then became bored and went on to do other things.

    I know it is needed for future precedent and all, but this ruling seems a tad late as far as the window of maximum popularity for the game is concerned.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is this even still an issue?

      That'll be the time lapse from filing an application with a court to getting it a slot on a judge's schedule.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is this even still an issue?

      It's not this game that's at issue, but the gaming concept itself. That won't be going away soon, unless the population becomes SUCH wide-rides that they can't even waddle from their cars to the park itself.

  8. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Pokemon not gone yet?

    I've not heard anything much about it since last summer - I'm surprised it's still a big enough thing to worry about large crowds.

    Surely the short attention span of the greater mass of the public has rendered the concern moot.

    How many anal obsessive compulsive Pokemon freaks can choke up a Nature reserve/

    1. Snowy

      Re: Pokemon not gone yet?

      Just thinking that Teiwaz

      It also raises the idea that we keep on being told that exercise is good for us. Do TV programs also have to get a permit to tell people to go outside and exercise?

    2. Turbo Beholder

      Re: Pokemon not gone yet?

      The concern is moot, but the company's money still exist.

      Follow the money, not the concern.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Teiwaz

      "I've not heard anything much about it since last summer - I'm surprised it's still a big enough thing to worry about large crowds."

      Not too surprising I think; don't forget that bureaucratic environments such as this aren't exactly speedy with making decisions and setting plans in motion. I wouldn't be surprised at all if they came up with whole thing when it still mattered and due to time and delays it only got sorted out now.

  9. Turbo Beholder
    Pirate

    THE POOL IS CLOSED DUE TO AIDS AND STINGRAYS (who also have aids) desu desu desu

    He's right and has very good points.

    But game-the-system potential is enormous.

    Which place is the next to be DoS'd with the weaponized herds of weaboo?

    Note that the risk of just helping the surprise party hosts is minimal, because the target audience can be easily chosen via fine-tuning content - the players of "1810: The Reconstruction", "Ponies & Unicorns" and "More Than One Way To Skin A Cat" are very unlikely to be the same crowd.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: THE POOL IS CLOSED DUE TO AIDS AND STINGRAYS (who also have aids) desu desu desu

      Pokemon go is a normalfag game. No self respecting weeaboo would make a spectacle of themselves in public like that.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: THE POOL IS CLOSED DUE TO AIDS AND STINGRAYS (who also have aids) desu desu desu

        /me kinda smiles at the 4-chan influence in this thread

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: THE POOL IS CLOSED DUE TO AIDS AND STINGRAYS (who also have aids) desu desu desu

          4-chan still exists? Who knew.

          1. Suricou Raven

            Re: THE POOL IS CLOSED DUE TO AIDS AND STINGRAYS (who also have aids) desu desu desu

            Let me quickly check.

            Yep, it exists.

            My brain hurts.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From memory of time spent in the US then seem to recall state/national parks (and I think the old international terminal at SFO) had designated "1st ammendment" areas where anyone was permitted to express their first ammendment rights to harangue passers by with their views and to sell tat which promoted those views ... generally the park authorities put large notices around these areas warning visitors that people in the area were not endorsed by the authorities and probably should be ignored/avoided. So ... why can't Milwaukee just define small areas of each park as being an "1st ammendment pokemon area" with no restritcions and apply the existing restrictions (or probably a total ban) to the rest of the parks.

  11. jake Silver badge

    Exercising my 1st amendment rights ...

    ... I think any Judge who believes that video games have anything to do with the 1st Amendment should be taken out behind the barn and severely horsewhipped[0].

    The Constitution & Bill of Rights are about people, not fucking video games. You are not expressing yourself by playing a video game ... Somewhere the Founding Fathers are spinning fast enough to light up Philadelphia ...

    [0]Note: I'm humane, I don't actually whip horses. Beating on animals is counter productive.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Exercising my 1st amendment rights ...

      People play video games.

      And "self-expression" isn't really relevant. The 1a also protects "the right of the people peacefully to assemble" - note that there is no limitation on this right, you can't prevent it merely because you don't like the medium used to bring people together.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Exercising my 1st amendment rights ...

        There's no limitation on the right of free speech written in the 1st Amendment, either, yet the Schenck decision found one anyway, implied, in that you can't use speech to deny the rights of others (the "Fire in a Crowded Theater" test). Since ANY large assembly of people raises the inherent potential to wreak havoc (the more people there are, the less chance any one will own up), there are laws in place to control such assemblies: laws which have survived challenges due to the need to protect the freedoms and rights of non-assemblers.

    2. Seajay#

      Re: Exercising my 1st amendment rights ...

      You are not expressing yourself by playing a video game

      No you're not, and the rights of the pokemon players was never in question (if it was then this judgement wouldn't be needed, they could just kick out players from the park).

      Milwaukee were going after the creators of the video game and when you're writing a game, you certainly are expressing yourself.

  12. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Judge is 100% retarded

    This doesn't even pass the smell test. Any smell test.

    Plus, there seem to be laws demanding that people protesting do so in declared "free speech zones" (directly behind the dumpster, down that alley). Apparently these are ok?

    I hope this black robe donner gets corrected.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Judge is 100% retarded

      I disagree on the retarded, although I think that ultimately the decision will come down more in favor of the park authority in this particular case since the game is networked and both chooses the locations and "forces" players to visit multiple locations by preventing re-use of the same location in a given time period.

      The issue of protesters and "free speech zones" is a different matter, since there's a clash of rights of different individuals between protesters and the people whose actions they affect. Courts accept laws that reasonably balance rights.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Real life action games

    Land mines!

    Knowwhatimsayin?

  14. Dave Bell

    Of course this is still current

    There was a Pokemon GO event organised in Chicago this weekend, huge crowds and a lot of technical things went wrong. That was a big formal event, and would fit with the sort of big event this law seemed to be based on. A lot depends on the scale.

    If was big enough that one of the problems was the local mobile network was overwhelmed. That seems to be the sort of level where the freedom of speech of the event is messing up the freedom of speech of other people. I know large events in the UK will set up portable base stations for mobile calls.

    I suppose the next few weeks will be the test. School holidays.

    There have been new Pokemon appearing and changes to both the gameplay and the key locations.

    tl:dr The game can still attract crowds which can mess up mobile phone networks, as well as the obvious problems of litter and general safety

  15. dbtx Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    trendily solving the wrong problem

    On the previous mention of hiring more rangers: Think. Think hard. You have a bunch of people with cameras in their phones, playing a silly AR game. So let the parks department run their own game! $20 (or whatever) for footage of littering or whatever property damage, posted to some SMS recipient, who is a person with some bit of authority who can go to where the problem is instead of having to be everywhere (i.e. numerous). Spend the taxes on putting up signs with 2 messages: one is a strict warning against creating a problem and obviously some mention of a fine. The other is about a bounty for providing evidence of someone creating a problem and the number where you'd send it. Anyone can avoid the fuzz but when some careless folks see the 2nd they ought to realize that they are surrounded by cameras. For Future Sanity, the fines cover the bounties.

    State Employee used creative problem solving. It's super effective! (well, at least in a parallel reality I've been spying on with my imagination...)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: trendily solving the wrong problem

      I like the way you think. "Surrounded by cameras" indeed.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps the makers of Pokemon Go and other similar games could add some realism for parks, such as:

    See the flasher

    Roll the Drunk

    Pot Corner

    Mind the Mugger

    Dodge the Dogshit

    Spice Invaders

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You forgot Feed the Fowl.

  17. Dark_Ronius

    It would seem to set a bizarre precedent if this law was upheld. What about geo-caching... something that usually directly affects the land by placing little boxes?

    Or even, what if I decide to meet my friends at a specific location to take photographs and upload them online? This would be identical to Pokemon Go...

    There is so much underlying snobbery in legislation like this, it is quite unbelievable. You think any kind of scheme that might promote new visitors to parks would be something to crave for, and something they would want to piggyback on. If this was some book author promoting a "visit your local park day!" there would likely be no backlash (even though it would likely generate an equivalent amount of rubbish). No, it isn't about parks becoming too popular... it's about the WRONG KING OF USER becoming too popular.

    In my eyes, anything that gets anyone using more of their national parks is a positive... There are the health benefits, the history, biology... And more than anything, it strengthens the hand in both keeping funding and keeping these lands free of any kind of urban development.

    There is so much they could do to jump on the bandwagon... Create leaflets with tips on looking after the environment of the park, to "protect the pokemon as well as other wildlife"... Even outfit the rangers with replica pokeballs to keep the fun factor (for the little kids anyway). They could even organise pokemon hunts at different times of the day with a ranger, so they can at least keep those under control. As I've never played the game I'm not entirely sure how the "catch pokemon" aspect works, whether a pokemon stays in a fixed location or whether just one person can catch it. However I was a player of Ingress, and I presume there is a similar element of co-operation within the team on that. Anyway, my point isn't on the game specifics, but that they could do a lot more to reap their own rewards

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's not snobbery at all.

      There is a very real effect of an AR game, the most important effect being that it brings people to an amenity who are not using the amenity for its intended purpose.

      The legal argument is to what extent this is an organized event (with many responsibilities for the organizer) rather than a matter of individual behavior (with responsibilities for the individual).

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Public parks are public, generally for use by members of the public for such legal activities as they see fit. It is not obvious that AR games are intrinsically harmful to the point that they need baning or restriction, or that the horrors that the Milwaukee Board of Supervisors listed in its various WHEREASes justify the badly thought out ordinance they passed. It also is not obvious that the Supervisors, as a group, are very well suited to decide the park's intended purpose.

        It also may be noted that neither the Texas Rope 'Em game and, as near as I can tell, Pokemon Go is a group activity, although it is plain that either may be played by many people concurrently and in the same general location.

      2. Swarthy Silver badge

        RE: Snobbery

        I'm just gonna leave these words of Wisdom from Mr. D. N. Adams:

        “I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:

        1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.

        2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.

        3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In GeoCaching there are rules that you agree to uphold when you sign on.

      Geocaches can't be hidden at 'sensitive' locations(military installations, anything of strategic importance and so on), and must be on publicly accessible land.

      It's NOT allowed to 'modify' the area by digging, drilling or whatever in order to hide the cache, without getting permission from the land owner. (moving a couple of rocks is usually considered OK)

      Leaving the area as it was before is one of the points, really. Can't make it too easy for others.

      Yeah, a lot of caches do break the rules...

      (I've found them at bridge foundations, and even once in a working mine... )

      I do report them to the admins whenever I find them, and if they don't do anything about it, I alert the property owner or authorities.

  18. jason.bourne
    Big Brother

    What if ..

    What if the primary purpose of Pokemon Go was to further the data gathering of the former Keyhole project and give Google video footage and pictures from GPS coordinates that cars can't get to?

    Should the first amendment be used, even if many of the locations Keyhole sent users to gather data contained non-public surroundings? Obviously in this case, it is a public park, so it is public. I am asking about the overall intent of the project in this case.

  19. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

    If Damage is Caused. Raise Taxes.

    ... If Milwaukee County's parks are being damaged by Pokemon players and there exists good evidence that that is the case then raise a Pokemon Tax on Milwaukee County Residents.

    I know nothing about Law or American Law but I doubt that raising Taxes to maintain Recreational Facilities violates some Amendment or another. Tax the Locals harder and see if they amend their behaviour.

    Might cause a bit of grumbling by the people who do not play Pokemon... Or riots in the parks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If Damage is Caused. Raise Taxes.

      Or residents who see most of the people dirtying their parks are coming from out of town.

  20. lukewarmdog

    Raise Taxes

    Have a charge for using the park.

    I assume it has gates, set up a toll booth.

    Free if you can produce a bill showing you are a local resident.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019