Sad news for Pokémon GO players in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. It looks like an ordinance that will influence the use of smartphone games in parks will be put into effect. More specifically, creators of smartphone games like Pokémon GO will need to get permits before they can use park locations within games.

Confused? I’ll explain.

Pokémon GO is well known for using landmarks and other public locations within both cities and rural areas to place Pokémon at for people to “catch” during gameplay. Because of this function, groups of people can often be found at the locations playing the app and interacting with one another at all hours of the day. For the most part, GO players have found the app to be extremely helpful for social means; some city officials, however, aren’t feeling that same love.

Ever since GO’s release last summer, Milwaukee residents have reported numerous incidents pertaining to littering and noisy disturbances taking place after-hours. Supervisor Sheldon Wasserman said taxpayers were responsible for paying for “thousands of dollars” of damage to Lake Park, the location where most of the trouble stemmed from.

“Neighbors of Lake Park took photos and recorded videos of empty beer cans, trash piles, trampled turf and overflowing toilets. There were also complaints of late-night activity, traffic congestion and unauthorized vendors.”

The complaints have been circulating throughout local news outlets ever since GO picked up its fandom, and it’s taken months for the ordinance to officially be approved. The changes made to the city won’t restrict public access to any parks, but will instead require game creators, like Niantic, to acquire permits when it comes to using parks as destinations for players to flock to for in-game tasks.

With Milwaukee being the home city of the Nintendo Wire team, this will most definitely affect people we know in the area and their use of Pokémon GO now and in the future. Have any similar ordinances or laws been put into place for you or anyone you know? Let us know in the comments below.


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Written by Lauren Musni
Creative Director, Managing Editor

Designer and writer by day, gamer by night, Lauren dreams big when it comes to creative endeavors. Perhaps that's why she's taken on the roles of creative director and managing editor for Nintendo Wire. If she had a video game superhero alias, it might just be The Visionary, a true keeper of imaginative order.

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  1. theRFWS says:

    I really don’t understand how they can enforce this. None of the affected parties (Niantic, Pokemon Co, etc) are based anywhere near Milwaukee, and I don’t see how a random local ordinance can be really binding for a company in this case.

    If they passed an ordinance saying people can’t photoshop a picture of a pokemon on top of a picture of one of their parks, and I do it, do you really think they can sue me for it? Of course not.

    There is absolutely no legal precedent for controlling what happens in digital recreations of public spaces. NYC might as well pass a law saying you can’t go over the speed limit in games that use NYC imagery.

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