Italian Man Charged For Ignoring Coronavirus Lockdown to Play Pokemon Go

Since the game's debut in the summer of 2016, Pokemon Go has provided a number of headaches for law enforcement around the globe. The allure of catching Pokemon in the mobile game can sometimes override common sense, which has resulted in some players going places they aren't supposed to, including Canadian military installations. Well, after all these years, Pokemon Go players are still breaking the rules to play the game, as a 31-year-old man has been charged in Italy for violating the country's lockdown rules by going outside to play Pokemon Go. The lockdown law went into effect on March 9th as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Italy has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. During the lockdown, people are allowed to leave their homes, but only for specific reasons, including grocery shopping. Despite this, more than 43,000 people have been fined for violating the current procedures. According to Italian outlet Leggo, the 31-year-old San Fermo resident was apparently playing the game alongside his daughter when he was stopped by police.

Going outside to play the game was part of the hook that made Pokemon Go the success it is today. From traveling to new places, to participating in the game's Raid Battles, Pokemon Go has long emphasized getting out and playing together. However, the coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for players to do just that. A number of in-game events have been postponed by developer Niantic in an attempt to encourage players to self-isolate. In addition, Niantic has made changes to the game, including making incense much cheaper, in order to lure Pokemon to the player's location. Niantic has also made it easier to hatch Pokemon Eggs, which can be accomplished after the player takes a certain number of footsteps.

In times like these, gamers need to keep a perspective on what's important. If countries can manage to "flatten the curve" of the pandemic, it's far more likely that players will be able to resume enjoying games like Pokemon Go sooner, rather than later. No matter how tempting it might be to catch 'em all, it's far more important to stop the pandemic from spreading further.


Are you happy to see Niantic encouraging players to self-isolate? What do you think of the developer's changes to Pokemon Go? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!