This summer, the beach town of Kijkduin, South Holland made the news with, “hey, we’re the Pokémon capital of the country, come here and catch ’em all!”. Now after people came and messed up their protected dune areas, Kijkduin mailed Pokémon Go maker Niantic to get them to shut the whole thing down and received no replies whatsoever. The next level has Kijkduin suing Niantic, and that’s going down on 11 October.
According to radio station Omroep West, when a rare Pokémon shows up, a whole crowd of people run and bum rush the fences protecting the dunes, which also disturbs the protected wildlife. As well, it annoys people trying to chill on terraces, and there aren’t enough toilets to accommodate all the gamers – draw your own conclusions.
The idea would be to have the Delta Square in Kijkduin free of Pokémons between 23:00 and 7:00 local time, which is what will be recommended at the hearing where Niantic will be defending itself against the Dutch government who says they’ve put protected landmarks in danger. Policing local protected areas against gamers is costing the town some 1500 euro a week.
It is completely understandable to want to protect landmarks, but why on earth did Kijkduin think that it was a good idea in the first place to turn their village into ‘The Pokémon capital of the country’, hoping to reap the rewards but none of the drawbacks? How badly planned was that?
So far, Niantic hasn’t said anything in their defense, but Dutch newspaper AD has claimed that Delta Square, which featured four PokéStops, now has five, like a virtual middle finger salute from Niantic.
I often read the Dutch media slagging off the US as a ‘claims culture’, but amusingly enough Niantic hasn’t had a single American lawsuit, if we can believe the American media.