A Pokemon Go player gets inside a meeting room of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) yesterday. With Thais now keen to catch Pokemon monsters anywhere, the meeting was called to regulate areas where people playing the game
CELLULAR SERVICE providers have agreed to draw up play zones for Pokemon Go while Niantic Inc, the US developer of the wildly popular mobile phone game, will be asked to make certain places off limits to character “hunters” for security, safety and other
Government House will be one of the no-entry locations for “monster” hunters, as are other public offices, temples, hospitals and private property.
Dangerous areas such as railroad tracks, roads and riverbanks will also be red zones.
Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommuni-cations Commission, said telecom firms also backed a suggestion that Pokemon Go fans should not be allowed to play the augmented reality game at night to avoid untoward incidents.
True Corp, a local licensee of Pokemon Go, will send a written request to Niantic asking for its cooperation, Takorn said, adding that the game developer would also be informed of Thailand’s restricted areas and other places involving national security that are out of bounds for game players.
Telecom firms will also have to publish handbooks for parents to advise their children on safety and other aspects involved in playing the game.
Chakkrit Urairat, a senior executive of True Corp, said telecom firms cannot restrict areas on Pokemon Go by themselves but will provide guidelines to the public via Facebook, Twitter and Line as well as various customer service centres nationwide.
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, who is also defence minister, said the game developer needs to avoid having players chase Pokemon in restricted areas.
People need to be careful while playing the game in public places to avoid accidents and violating the rights of other people, he said.
Maj-General Ritti Indarawud, head of the Army’s cyber technology centre, said the Army will introduce measures to regulate the playing of the game by military personnel after monsters were found inside Army compounds and restricted areas.
Police said motorists would be fined Bt400 to Bt1,000 if found playing the game while driving, while police will also be subject to disciplinary action if they are caught engaging in the game while on duty.
In Chachoengsao, the management of the popular Kuan-Im Shrine have declared the grounds off limits for Pokemon Go players after teenagers were seen wandering around the sacred place of worship with their mobile phones in hand searching for monsters.
Motorcycle taxi drivers in the tourist resort of Pattaya have reported a windfall from being hired to take customers to seek Pokemons.