Pokemon Go on the Urupa, Marae – Tapu?
Pokémon is a free location-based augmented reality game played on mobile phones which places creatures called Pokemon that can fight each other at randomly selected places including marae, wahi tapu and Urupa.
Augmented reality is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment with a computer or other animation that can be seen via a device.
At this stage there is no information about how the geographic location is selected. I speculate that it may be based on cell phone data connections and tourist attractions. The creators of the game Niantic Labs state that it is their vision that anyone will be able to walk 5 minutes from anywhere and catch a pokemon.
A number of online reports state that marae, urupa and wahi tapu have pokemon and for some this is causing distress.
Nga Hau E Wha in Christchurch for example has a fighting arena called a Gym at the entrance to the marae, while another Christchurch school marae has a pokemon on the tekoteko. Yet other marae in Christchurch have none.
Based on Facebook posts, there are Pokemon and Gyms at: Ohinemutu Maori village, Te Koutu Marae, Te Reanga Paraoa Marae, AUT marae, and too numerous to mentionplaces in Rotorua
The main thing to remember is that these pokemon are augmented reality, so they are not really there unless you have a device with a geo location service. The issues arise with the un wanted herds of strangers arriving to play Pokemon at the urupa, wahi tapu or marae.
Some potential risks could include groups of strangers playing pokemon at the entrance to a marae while a powhiri or a tangi is taking place. Screen shots could include Pokemon on a tupapaku or being the kai karanga. Would this be breaking tikanga and make the players and their devices tapu? Would this be sufficient for utu or a makutu?
Frequency jammers are a device that deliberately blocks, jams or interferes with authorized wireless communications, thus stopping people from being able to play Pokemon at the marae etc. But they are illegal in New Zealand with some governments being the exception. A frequency jammer will also block phone calls, could interfere with planes, car GPS and anything else that relies on certain frequencies to operate.
The only way at the moment is to contact the developer and ask that a Pokemon or Gym be removed. The contact form is at https://support.pokemongo.nianticlabs.com/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=341148
Or from inside the app:
- Tap the Poké Ball at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap Settings.
- Tap Report High-Priority Issue.
- Tap Yes to leave the app.
- Tap Report an issue with a Gym or PokéStop.
- Fill in all the requested information.