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‘The Devil has arrived through this mechanism’ The Russian authorities weigh in on Pokémon Go. Five quotes

Meduza
Photo: Kirill Kukhmar / TASS

Franz Klintsevich

first deputy chairman of the Federal Council's Committee on Defense

“There's the feeling that the Devil has arrived through this mechanism, and he's simply trying to ruin us spiritually, from within. But I understand that it's extremely difficult to control this sphere today. It seems that this is imposed from the outside by people who understand perfectly well that the consequences will be irreversible after a year or two.”

Nikolai Nikirofov

minister of communications and mass media

“Some talented people created a clever game. I don't want to give [the game] yet another media bump, but I do have the suspicion that this app was created with the help of certain intelligence agencies, who are collecting video information from territories all over the world.”

Evgeny Fedorov

State Duma deputy from the political party “United Russia”

“The game appeared in Russia in the context of [upcoming] elections. The party behind this game is located abroad, and this party's goal is destabilization, or potential destabilization. And that the mass media is participating in this is a very curious fact that needs to be considered, insofar as the media is integrated into the system of foreign influence—maybe even without its knowing it.”

Sergei Obukhov and Valery Rashkin

State Duma deputies from the Communist Party

“The rapid spread across the world of Pokémon Go, a free mobile game with elements of augmented reality, carries certain risks for the correct functioning of the public authorities. [...] In connection with this, we urge [Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev] to analyze, as soon as possible, the potential adverse effects of civil-service and law-enforcement officials playing games like Pokémon Go during work hours, and take the necessary preventive measures to avoid these effects.”

Vadim Solovyov

State Duma deputy from the Communist Party

“When this game emerged, the whole world lost its mind. People have started playing these pointless games out of boredom; both the young and the old have become addicted, and they're playing instead of doing serious things with their lives. It's replacing real life, like gambling, like drugs, and the like. That's why I support banning this kind of nonsense in Russia, so that virtual reality isn't imposed on us, and so these games don't come to replace real life.”