Rabid popularity of Pokemon Go pushes up against Aurora juvenile curfew


AURORA | If you’re going to catch ’em all at all hours, you’re going to need an adult.

The breakout success of the Pokemon GO smartphone game — in which users travel to use a GPS-based augmented reality interface to ‘catch’ the popular Nintendo characters and build up their powers — has tested some young players’ limits against the city’s long-standing juvenile curfew.

Aurora Police officials took to social media late Wednesday night, July 13, to remind the public that anyone under 18 is not allowed to loiter on streets, sidewalks, parks or other outdoor areas between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. without a parent, guardian or other adult 21 or older accompanying them; the curfew on Friday and Saturday nights kicks in an hour later at midnight.

The combination of many Aurora students being on summer break with the game’s exceptional popularity has led to hundreds of residents combing the city for the various digital “Pokestops” (areas where in-game items can be obtained) and Pokemon gyms (where players can train and battle their characters).

Businesses such as Nick’s Garden Center off South Chambers Road and the Brunswick Lanes bowling alley near Overland High School have seen a surge in the transient packs of players, briefly stopping to search for rare Pokemon and stock up on in-game gear.

Aurora’s Mission Viejo Library has capitalized on being one of the game’s real-world pit stops by urging budding Pokemon masters to stop in for books while coming by to access the in-game PokeGym located at the site.

While PC and console gamers may sit at home sipping Mountain Dew and playing well into the morning hours, Pokemon Go users are being reminded that Aurora’s municipal code requires them to have an adult on hand if they’re going to continue their quest while much of the rest of the city sleeps.

Loitering, as defined by the city, is “remaining idle in essentially one location, to be dilatory, to tarry, to dawdle and shall include, but not be limited to, standing around, hanging out, sitting, kneeling, sauntering or prowling.”

In the three weeks prior to the July 6 launch of Pokemon Go, Aurora police only issued one curfew violation. In the last week, the number is up to two. Violators are subject to a warning or $25 fine; unpaid fines can lead to a warrant to hold a violator’s driver’s license.