In Brief

The collision of real and virtual worlds will cause problems as AR gaming grows

This article titled “Pokémon Go: Who owns the virtual space around your home?” was written by Alex Hern, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 13th July 2016 13.46 UTC

When a virtual space overlaps a real-world space, then whose space is it, and who controls what is created as a result? The success of augmented-reality game Pokémon Go has forced this question into focus. Since its launch less than a week ago, groups worldwide have struggled with the game’s unforeseen ramifications.

Washington DC’s Holocaust Museum has asked Pokémon Go players to stay away: the museum was designated a Pokéstop, where players can pick up items like Pokéballs and revives, forcing its communications director to point out that playing a game inside a memorial to victims of Nazism is “extremely inappropriate”.

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