While Pokemon Go remains wildly popular, the app was a legitimate cultural phenomenon when it first launched back in 2016. It seemed you couldn't go anywhere without seeing players hunting for Pokemon on their cell phones. Players traveled all over to catch the most difficult to obtain creatures, and that sometimes meant places that should have been off-limits, including military bases. According to a story from CBC News, recently released internal Canadian records show that the mobile game caused a number of headaches for military brass that had no idea exactly what was going on when uninvited guests would show up on base!
"Plse advise the Commissionaires that apparently Fort Frontenac is both a PokeGym and a PokeStop. I will be completely honest in that I have not idea what that is," wrote Major Jeff Monaghan, based at Canadian Forces Base, Kingston.
The documents were released after an information request was filed by CBC News years ago. Typically, these requests are resolved in a much quicker fashion, but the sheer number of documents related to the game resulted in the delay. Altogether, the Canadian military released 471 pages of documents related to the game.
The documents paint an interesting picture regarding the willingness of players to enter forbidden areas to catch certain Pokemon. Though some of the visitors could have likely been hurt as a result of trespassing, a number of the responses from military and security officials seem to show a sense of bewilderment more than anything else.
"The game's premise seems to be going to the 'PokeStops/Gyms' to collect 'Pokemon's' (we should almost hire a 12-year-old to help us out with this) of which we were able to find 5 of these things on the range road itself," wrote David Levenick, a security expert at Canadian Forces Base Borden, Ontario.
On one hand, it's surprising that so many players would feel comfortable traveling on to military bases to play the game, but on the other hand, it seems very much in keeping with how big Pokemon Go was in 2016. It's certainly amusing to see these stories come out all these years after the fact. Since that time, developer Niantic has made strides to find more ideal locations for PokeStops and Gyms. Unfortunately, the company's attempt to crowdsource this element of the game had to be put on hiatus due to the amount of recommendations Niantic was receiving from players. For some reason, that just seems to be in keeping with the events of the last few years!