Referendum Day: Pokemon hunting banned at polls

Referendum Day: Pokemon hunting banned at polls

Pokemon Go is fun for some but election officials have banned the game at Sunday's polling stations. (File photo)
Pokemon Go is fun for some but election officials have banned the game at Sunday's polling stations. (File photo)

Authorities warned Pokemon Go players Saturday against entering polling stations as they search for the cyber creatures when the nation votes on the draft constitution.

Pokemon Go was made available in Thailand and 14 other Asia-Pacific nations on Saturday, delighting fans who had expected it to arrive next month.

Election officials now fear fans might stumble into polling booths as they feverishly search for Pokemons.

"I suggest to people who play Pokemon Go that if rare Pokemon appear in a polling stations, I ask for your cooperation in not playing the game," Supachai Somcharoen, chairman of the Election Commission, told reporters in his last press briefing ahead of Sunday's vote.

Since its global launch, Pokemon Go has sparked a worldwide frenzy among users who have taken to the streets with their smartphones.

The viral game uses satellite locations, graphics and camera capabilities to overlay cartoon monsters on real-world settings, challenging players to capture and train the creatures for battles.

While it has been praised as a fun way to get people outdoors, it has also attracted safety warnings about not walking into oncoming traffic, straying into restricted areas, or becoming victims of crimes.

Some more autocratic governments, such as Iran, have even banned the game altogether.

Members of the public are forbidden from taking photos inside polling stations which are only open to locally registered voters.


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