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Michigan Couple vs. Pokemon GO: Claims Online Game Craze Ruined Neighborhood

© Sputnik / Alexandr Kryazhev / Go to the mediabankPokemon Go, mobile game from Nintendo
Pokemon Go, mobile game from Nintendo - Sputnik International
A suburban Detroit couple is suing the makers of Pokémon GO, claiming that people wandering around their neighborhood staring into their phones makes them feel unsafe.

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Scott and Jayme Dodich, of St. Clair Shores, have filed a class action lawsuit against app developer Niantic, Pokemon Co., based in Tokyo, as well as Nintendo, claiming that the game has ruined their neighborhood.

The couple lives across from Wahby Park, which contains a Poke gym and multiple stops, or GPS coordinates where players battle virtual creatures, find new pokemon, and gather supplies for use in the game. The couple claims that they have been complaining to the developers “for weeks” about the stops being placed on or near private property without permission of the residents.

"Nobody gets sleep anymore," the lawsuit says.  "How is this acceptable?… They hang out on our lawns, trample landscaping, look in vehicles… We don't feel safe… I don't feel safe sitting on our porch."

The lawsuit aims to eliminate the implementation of Pokestops near private property without the owner’s permission, and seeks a cut of the profits from the game for residents who live near a stop. They noted that Niantic acknowledges stops are sometimes placed on or near private property, and quoted a notice on the app website that states; "If you can't get to the Pokestop because it's on private property, there will be more just around the corner, so don't worry!"

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"Indeed, defendants have shown a flagrant disregard for the foreseeable consequences of populating the real world with virtual Pokemon without seeking the permission of property owners," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit cites others who have complained about the app, such as the Holocaust Museum and a cemetery owner in Alabama.

"Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism. We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game,” a statement from the Holocaust Museum read, shortly after the app’s release.

Other residents who live around the park do not seem to be bothered by players roaming around the neighborhood.

"They're out walking around. I think they're interacting. It's new and it's strange. To me, it's not threatening," Don Benson, 64, told the Detroit Free Press.

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