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NYPD Commissioner Says Pokemon GO Is 'Stupidest' Game Ever: Report

By Nicole Levy | July 14, 2016 3:36pm
 NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton isn't one of the millions of New Yorkers addicted to Pokemon Go.
NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton isn't one of the millions of New Yorkers addicted to Pokemon Go.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg; Getty/Drew Angerer

NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton went on a rant against the wildly popular Pokemon GO mobile game launched last week — calling it the "stupidest" craze and adding that it's transforming millennials into "walking zombies," the New York Post reported.

At the swearing-in ceremony for more than 500 new officers at the Police Academy in College Point, Bratton expressed frustration with the augmented reality game that uses the GPS, camera and clock on players' phones to project virtual creatures onto the real world — and may compromise their safety. 

“I don’t understand it and I don’t intend to understand it,” he said. “It’s of no appeal to me and at the same time, people are putting themselves at great risk.”

The commissioner compared the dangers posed by Pokemon GO to those posed to users who follow Craigslist posts only to be taken advantage of.

Pokémon trainers are, he said, "going to certain neighborhoods that they have no knowledge of and subjecting themselves to be potentially victims of crimes. It’s the same as a lot of people trying to buy things off of Craigslist.”

Plus, in his opinion, players just look silly staring down at their smartphone while walking around.

“It’s like looking for the Tooth Fairy, I guess,” he said. (We have a lot of issues with that observation: Why would you peer at the ground for a winged creature? Why would adults who have lost all their baby teeth be hunting her down?)

Bratton's off-the-cuff remarks may have been triggered in part by news Wednesday of a Snapchat video that showed uniformed NYPD officers on patrol playing Pokemon Go near the boardwalk in Far Rockaway. When the videographer, Zoli Honig, asked the policemen whether they'd seen the wild Pikachu lurking nearby, one responded that he had already caught it.

That day, the NYPD's Community Affairs Bureau released a list of “PokemonGo Safety Tips” reminding civilian players that they're "still in the real world, too!" 

"Around the country, the Pokemon Go craze has seen reports of accidents, injuries, and even crimes where suspects have set up fake 'Pokestops,'" the list says.