Italian Bishop Claims Pokemon Go Players Are Like the Walking Dead

Pokemon Go is one of the biggest mobile apps in the world, which means that it has plenty of [...]

Pokemon Go is one of the biggest mobile apps in the world, which means that it has plenty of detractors. An Italian bishop recently spoke out against the app, comparing it to Nazism and comparing its players to the "walking dead".

Bishop Antonio Stagliano of Sicily lashed out against Pokemon Go to several newspapers, calling the game "diabolical" for causing thousands of children to become addicted to catching Pokemon. He likened the game to "a totalitarian system close to Nazism" as it caused players to walk about like the "walking dead."

Stagliano also threatened Pokemon Go with legal action in hopes of stunting the game's popularity in Europe. Stagliano's aim is to get Pokemon Go banned from the entire country of Italy.

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The Italian bishop isn't the only person calling for a ban on Pokemon Go. A French mayor recently banned the app from his town, claiming the game didn't have his permission to operate within local limits. The country of Iran also banned Pokemon Go, claiming that the game was a security risk and that Niantic had not consulted with the government's ministry of culture before allowing Pokemon to spawn there.

Thai government officials also threatened a ban if Niantic didn't remove Pokemon from several sensitive security areas.

Sadly, Stagliano's comments aren't even the first time Pokemon has drawn associations to Nazism. A Pokemon card released in the late 1990s was heavily criticized for featuring a manji, a symbol that looks like an inverted swastika and is often used in Buddhist imagery. The symbol was changed for the card's English release. Nintendo and the Pokemon Company have also edited various international editions of various games and anime episodes to edit out characters making a hand gesture similar to the Nazi salute.

While Stagliano was critical of Pokemon Go, his views are hardly representative of the Catholic Church. As Pokemon Go uses some churches as PokeStops or Pokemon gyms, some faith communities have used the game to connect with younger members and other visitors. Several Catholic dioceses have even published pamphlets for local churches explaining what Pokemon Go is and how to interact with players.

(via Nintendo Life)