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    Pokemon Go

    Pokemon Go: Innocent Game or Terrorists’ Weapon?

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    Children and adults in different parts of the world have become obsessed with the new phone game Pockemon GO. Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities and an evangelical pastor in the US claim that it can be used by Daesh terrorist group to track and kill its targets.

    The game, released early in July by Niantic for iPhone and Android devices, has already won the hearts of millions of "pocket monsters" fans. The success seems natural, given that the application brilliantly interfuses the virtual and real worlds, allowing the player to find and capture imaginary Pokemon characters in his actual surroundings by using a mobile device.

    Even those who haven't heard of the game yet, may have seen others acting like zombies and running about with eyes glued to their smartphones. It does look strange, to be fair, and accusations from older generation and religious figures, like those that pounced upon the original anime series, were just a matter of time.

    On Thursday, Egypt's top Islamic institution Al Azhar referred to the application as "harmful mania", expressing its concerns that while being too concentrated on the game, one may not notice cars, approaching in high speed, or other dangers.

    Even though the game wasn't yet officially launched in some countries, including Egypt or South Korea, mobile users still find ways to download it on their phones. In the past few days, Egyptian TV stations broadcast footage showing citizens walking as though in a trance on the streets while following their Pokemons.

    "If such a game can deceive youngsters, I do not know where have gone the minds of adults, who can be hit by a car while being busy searching for Pokemon," Al Azhar deputy head Abbas Shuman told reporters. "Will we find some lunatics walk into mosques, churches, prisons and military units in search of the missing [Pokemon]?"

    That, as a side note, is quite a rightful concern, for some owners have already put signs on the doors of their shops saying that people are not welcome to come in if all they want is to catch Pikachu.

    Others, however, have shown to be more opportunistic. A newly opened restaurant in Cairo reportedly invited potential customers to come to the place where they can "find their Pokemons".

    One of the major concerns voiced by Egyptian authorities is that the details of the players' location can be seen by others once they switch on the camera on their mobile devices. These concerns were echoed by the US radio show host and evangelical pastor Rick Wiles who called the game "a magnet for demonic powers".

    "This technology will be used by the enemies of the cross to target, locate, and execute Christians," Wiles warned on the TrueNews radio show.

    Whether the reality game is as black as it is painted by Wiles and Shuman is yet to be seen.

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