A lawmaker in the American state of Illinois has proposed legislation to make it easier to remove virtual places, like PokéStops, in order to protect sensitive areas. According to a report by DNAinfo, State Representative Kelly Cassidy introduced “Pidgey’s Law” to prevent areas of interest for Pokémon Go players appearing in the Loyola Dunes Restoration Site.
If the Location-based Video Game Protection Act is passed into law a developer of a location-based game, like Ninatic, would have to respond to a business requesting their exclusion from a game, like Pokémon Go, within two business days. Failure to do so would result in a civil fine of up to $100 per day thereafter.
“There’s been real damage done to [Loyola Dunes] that people have spent hours and dollars restoring,” Cassidy told DNAinfo. “It shouldn’t have happened.”
A PokéStop in the area, listed as Buddha Rising, is one such troublesome area as it resides in a dune inhabited by a fragile plant life and endangered species. Worse still Niantic responded to the request for the removal by saying there is “no PokéStops of Gyms at that location” despite a screenshot of said PokéStop being sent to them.
Ropes and signs have been put up to around the area remind people to stick to the tracks in order to protect the dunes.
“People are talking to each other and hanging out and being peaceful and friendly and fun,” said Cassidy. “I see all sorts of great things and I don’t want that to stop — but if we were to take the stop out of the middle of the migratory bird nesting site, we’d be all good.”
Photo credit: https://loyoladunesrestoration.wordpress.com, Steven Gilliam (2012)