“Pokemon Go,” the augmented reality app that recently became the biggest mobile game in U.S. history, has businesses and advertisers working feverishly to capitalize on its enormous popularity. And while election campaigns are already taking advantage of the game’s mechanics to incentivize players to visit political rallies and registration drives, the possible use of “lures” to attract gamers to polling places – and even to influence their vote – is proving to be an unimagined area of election law. Hillary Clinton’s Democratic presidential campaign, for example, has organized a “Pokemon Go” event in Lakewood, Ohio, where people can play the game and register to vote. Organizers held the event at what the game calls a “Poke Stop,” a public place at which the game’s programmers put items useful in the digital scavenger hunt. Organizers also promised what’s called a “Lure Module” – a facet of the game designed to attract the wild Pokemon whose capture is the object, and thereby avid “Pokemon Go” players, to a particular location.
Nothing wrong so far. In fact, the event follows the example of businesses, which reportedly are seeing sales increase by drawing game players. The Financial Times recently reported on a restaurant that experienced a 75 percent increase in customers by simply placing a lure.
But the game’s developer, Niantic, is also said to be researching advertising opportunities within the digital asset – meaning that in addition to seeing Charizard and Lapras projected atop real-world surroundings, the game player could also see signs and slogans for products and services not physically present. In fact, Niantic will soon allow companies to have “sponsored locations” at Poke Stops.
And that’s where things get dicey. If commercial ads are on the horizon, could political ads be far behind?
Full Article: Could ‘Pokemon Go’ Break Election Laws? | US News.