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Iran bans 'Pokémon Go' over security jitters

It's the first time a country has completely banned the hit mobile game.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 6, 2016
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Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

A number of governments are already nervous about the security implications of Pokémon Go, but Iran is taking that fear one step further: it just became the first country to ban the critter catching game entirely. The nation's High Council of Virtual Spaces wouldn't say what prompted the decision besides "security concerns." However, it comes after reports that Iran wanted to see what cooperation it could get from Niantic before taking action.

The move isn't shocking. On top of concerns about players wandering near military bases and other sensitive areas, it wouldn't be surprising if Iran was worried that Pokémon Go would encourage large-scale gatherings and thus protests against the powers that be. Whatever the motivations, the ban shows just how much the game has done to draw attention to location-based gaming -- much to the chagrin of Iranian residents who just wanted to join in the fun.

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