Thailand will make places such as the Royal Palace grounds, Buddhist
temples and hospitals off limits to players of Nintendo Co Ltd’s wildly
popular augmented reality game Pokemon Go, the Thai telecoms regulator
said on Tuesday.

The measures come after the National Broadcasting and
Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) met with five telecoms operators to
discuss safety measures and the preservation of landmarks, Takorn
Tantasith, secretary general of the NBTC, told a news conference.

five operators are Advanced Info Service Pcl, Total Access
Communication Pcl, True Corp and two state telecom firms, TOT Pcl and
CAT Telecom.

True, the master licensee to manage Pokemon’s content
in Thailand, will ask Niantic Inc, the game’s developer, to withdraw
locations including government buildings and private areas from the
game, Takorn said.

“We agree that we should withdraw some places
that could be dangerous such as roads, walkways, riverside and other
important places from the game,” he said.

Pokemon Go, which marries a classic 20-year-old franchise with augmented reality, has become an instant hit globally.

mobile devices, players search for virtual Pokemon characters that
appear to pop up at office spaces, restaurants, museums and other

But the game has been blamed for a rash of car accidents and a slew of mishaps stemming from distracted players.

regulator will also discuss the possibility of limiting playing time in
Thailand, Takorn said, adding that all operators will distribute
manuals about how to play online games safely, warnings and how to buy
items in games.

Thailand is one of the fastest growing mobile game
markets in Southeast Asia thanks to the rising popularity of
smartphones and the recent launch of high speed 4G mobile services.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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