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12 signs Pokémon GO has reached peak ridiculousness

Yes, we love it. But some people are being all kinds of dumb with it.

12 signs Pokémon GO has reached peak ridiculousness
06 September 2016

We love Pokémon GO here at ShortList. We're crap at it, but still big fans.

It's fun, buggy, and brilliant. Yes, it's a pointless use of our data allowance, but we're glad it's come into our lives. But people have got to get a grip. 

The following stories vary in ridiculousness: sometimes it's people, sometimes its brands, but each of them is unified in a moment of utter ridiculousness that could have been avoided if they just engaged their brain.

Russian YouTuber facing five years in prison for catching Pokémon in a church

Ruslan Sokolovsky, a Russian YouTuber, recorded himself playing Pokémon GO in the Church of All Saints in Yekaterinburg. No big deal right? Wrong.

Sokolovsky decided to catch'em all in a church to mock Russian news reports warning players they could be jailed if they played the game churches. A month after posting the video to his YouTube account, Sokolovsky has apparently been charged with inciting hatred and offending religious sensibilities. He's currently being detained for two months, but could receive a penalty of five years in prison. 

A number of prominent campaigners, including Pussy Riot, are calling for Sokolovsky to be released. 

People playing it at a toxic nuclear power plant

Come ON guys. You're giving other players a bad name.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company has reported that Pokémon GO players have been found wandering around the grounds of the deactivated, radiation-heavy Fukushima Daichi and Daini power plants.

The game's developer Niantic has even said that it hasn't put any Pokémon in the exclusion area around Fukushima, meaning the players will have entered the zones by their own volition, rather than as a result of chasing an illusive Muk they saw near by. 

You're not going to catch anything other than radiation poisoning. 

People are having to be told to avoid landmines

Some Pokémon GO players in Bosnia have been total idiots, apparently ignoring warnings about areas that are still covered in landmines after the conflict of 1992-1995. 

NGO Posavina bez mina had to put out a warning on its Facebook page:

"Today we received information that some users of the Pokémon Go app in Bosnia were going to places which are a risk for (unexploded) mines, in search of a pokemon. 

"Citizens are urged no to do so, to respect demarcation signs of dangerous mine fields and not to go into unknown areas."

Don't be an idiot and play Pokémon GO on a minefield, okay?


People abandoning all common sense to catch a Vaporeon

No, there's nothing wrong with loads of people getting excited about catching a rare Pokémon that's just appeared in New York's Central Park. It's sort of amazing.

What's idiotic is when people jump out of their cars, leaving the engine running, to catch a rare Pokémon. 

Use your head mate.

People jumping on the marketing band wagon

Project Fixup is a dating service that allows people to meet up to do something they'll both enjoy. No profiles, no swiping, just let Fixup do the work for you. It launched in 2012.

PokéDates is a ridiculous-if-understandable move by Fixup to encourage Pokémon GO players to use their service, helping organise a date for two players to meet at a particular Gym or Pokéstop. It's a thing that already existed, they just changed the name to jump on the bandwagon.

Stop it, Fixup. You're better than that. 

Just all of this...

Pokémon GO holidays

Stop it. Just stop it TripAdvisor. We don't need to "use [our] summer break as an opportunity to catch some of the rarer types whilst [we] explore new surroundings". 

We want to go on holiday to be on holiday. If we catch some Pokémon while we're there, so be it, but we won't be picking the destination in order to improve our chances of catching "water-type Pokémon, Psyduck, Poliwag and Magikarp" - so stop emailing us.

Mainly because we've already caught them all. 

People calling the police

Gloucestershire Police received a 999 call from someone who claimed their Pokémon had been 'stolen'.

Which isn't really a thing. Someone could have accessed their account and changed the password, or stolen their phone, but given that these are virtual creatures in an augmented reality, you can't really steal them. 

Don't call 999 for 'banter'. Just don't. You idiot. 

People getting lost in caves

Anyone familiar with the app will have noticed the kindly warning players receive on booting up, warning them to pay attention to their surroundings. 

Had a group of four teenagers bothered to read this message and actually process it, they might have thought twice about entering a cave network in Wiltshire to try and find some Pokémon.

Unsurprisingly, they got lost. It was only by chance that one of the group managed to find phone signal underground and call the local fire and rescue service for help. 

Don't play Pokémon GO underground, okay? It is beyond a bad idea.

People like Kristian Hernandez

Come on Kristian. You're better than that.

People creating app businesses off the back of Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO isn't a sure thing. It doesn't always work, it hasn't been out six months and it's still yet to arrive in several nations. 

Sure, Lure Squad might think it's got in there early, creating a business that helps small businesses reward Pokémon players for setting up lures at their place of business. It might think that. But it's ridiculous. Still, hope it works out for you...

People offering to hatch your egg for £30

Seriously. Fantastic Deals is offering to walk 10km to hatch your Pokémon GO eggs for you. 

Which will either mean handing over your phone to them, or your account details - both of which require a whole heap of trust for a half-baked £30 deal offer. 

It's a game. A fun, entertaining, active game. Play it at your own pace. Stop spending money to get someone else to walk around with your Pokémon eggs. Yes, it is your money. But that's just ridiculous.