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Pokémon Go

How Pokémon Go caught the eye of the Canadian Military

More than three years after its launch we are shown information about how the Canadian military took an interest in Pokémon Go.

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Back in 2016, the world was graced with Pokemon Go, a brand new way to go and catch those lovable little creatures. The game rose to prominence and people all around the globe were heading out on adventures to become Pokémon trainers.

The summer of 2016 was a peaceful time with communities being created where fellow players could unite in gym battles, team up to take down raids and go hunting as groups to try and fill up their Pokédex. It turns out though that not everyone was too fond of the game, however, and more than three years after its release a report from CBC News has revealed what went down with the Canadian military and how their first experience with the game was not quite as enjoyable as the rest of ours.

The report states how it all started around midnight on July 10, 2016, when two men where spotted in a van near the edge of the base, they proceeded to make a U-turn and head further into the facility. Master Cpl. Daniel Boyd was the one to notice these men and upon approaching the vehicle he noticed the two gentlemen were in fact on their phones trying to track down a Pikachu. With the game not having been officially released in Canada at this point in time, it created a lot of confusion with the military officials who were unsure why civilians were hunting a "mythical digital creature" on Department of Defence property.

This then led to the Canadian Armed Forces having to release a public warning: "Pokémon Go users should keep off military property". Following this statement, CBC filed an access to information request which after nearly three and a half years they received the 471 pages of internal files. It turned out that a large majority of the emails was just curiosity and confusion around this new game as most of the officials had no prior knowledge of it. One email even joked saying "we should almost hire a 12-year-old to help us out with this."

The rest of the report covers a lot of the same topics, some officials filed a complaint with Niantic asking for the removal of the Pokéstops on the base in a hope that this would lower the foot traffic. A few military police officers were also tasked with searching the base for stops and gyms so they could track what locations would likely be sought after by civilians. One group of officials at another station even tried to get the Pokéstop at a museum upgraded to a gym in the hope that it would bring more visitors to the museum and increase ticket sales.

In the end, it wasn't all bad as Rear Admiral Newton wrote: "Life and work are best accomplished if there is good fun, health and friendship. If Pokemon Go enables these values, while we protect our interests, then we all stand to marvel at this intersection of technology, gaming and health."

Thankfully no one got hurt from these cases of trespassing and it seems that the military officers were more concerned and confused at the whole situation. In the future, perhaps steering clear of military bases would be best for everyone.

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