Is Pokemon Go A Public Safety Menace?

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The Maryland Association of Counties (MACO) is having its annual summer bacchanalia this week, and rest assured, they’re not just getting drunk in Ocean City, they are considering deep and weighty issues.

Like Pokemon Go.

Yes, really.

“There’s an awful lot of questions that have burst on the scene about this game and the trend that it represents,” said Michael Sanderson, executive director of the Maryland Association of Counties. “There’s a real public policy dimension here. What does it mean for your liability? What does it mean for public safety?”

An hour-long session Friday at the Maryland Association of Counties’ summer conference in Ocean City is devoted to “Gotta Catch ‘Em All: Pokémon GO and the Public.” The session is one of dozens at the three-day, beachside governance convention, but it’s expected to be busy.
“I’m pretty confident we’re going to run out of time before we run out of things to talk about,” Sanderson said.

Sanderson said that in addition to the obvious question about how to protect distracted players from themselves and criminals, augmented reality games inspire people to wander places they wouldn’t normally go. Overnight, inclusion in the game could transform a little-trafficked and minimally surveilled waste-water treatment into a busy and dangerous destination authorities couldn’t control.

Oh please.

I now yield the floor to friend of the blog and fellow deep thinker Delegate Shane Robinson (D-39):


Next up on the agenda: people who drink too much can get into dangerous situations and often feel very bad the next day. Discuss.

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