- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) - The addictive cellphone game “Pokemon Go” has led people to unlikely places to collect digital monsters - including the gates of a Central California ranch that houses alcoholics and sex offenders.

The location-based game has a “Pokestop” at the outdoor sign for Sunny Acres, a 72-acre ranch in San Luis Obispo that includes a sober-living facility where 35 people live, KSBY-TV reported Tuesday (https://bit.ly/29BT9G1).

“We have some criminals, we have some alcoholics, we have drug addicts, we have mentally ill, there are some sex offenders, yes,” Sunny Acres founder Dan De Vaul told the station.

An Associated Press call seeking comment from De Vaul was not immediately returned Wednesday.

But De Vaul, 72, told the Los Angeles Times (https://lat.ms/29DZgzz) that he was upset.

“I have no idea what Pokemon is,” he said. “I have no idea who put the stop - if it was sabotage - because we don’t want kids showing up here.”

If children visit the property, some sex offenders living there might be placed at risk of being sent back to prison for violating conditions of their probation or parole, De Vaul said.

“Pokemon Go” is an augmented-reality game that makes digital monsters of various kinds pop up on players’ cellphones along routes where they are walking or driving. The object is to “catch” the beasts. Some places are designated as “Pokestops,” where players can stock up on digital items, and “gyms” where the collected monsters can be used in digital battles.

Using digitized maps, gamers can see the location of monsters, Pokestops and gyms as far as a few blocks away.

It was not immediately clear how “Pokemon Go” developer Niantic Inc. chose the locations.

An email seeking comment from the company about the Sunny Acres location was not immediately returned.

Niantic’s support page has an online request form where players can ask for removal of a location. But it is not guaranteed.

De Vaul said his property also has a thrift store, a strawberry stand, a pumpkin patch and a Christmas tree farm and closing the gates to keep out “Pokemon Go” players would deprive him of income. “I don’t know what to do,” he told the Times.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide