Pentagon: No 'ban' on Pokémon Go

Pentagon: No 'ban' on Pokémon Go
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The Pentagon is denying reports that there is a ban on playing Pokemon Go on its premises.

However, a spokesman said they have asked employees not to play the popular game on government-issued phones.

"We have asked, as we do periodically, asked Defense Department personnel to avoid putting the game and similar games on their government-issued mobile devices," Deputy Defense press secretary Gordon Trowbridge told reporters at an off-camera Pentagon briefing Friday. 

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"But there is no ban on Pokemon Go. And last I heard, there was still a gym in center courtyard. I'm not a player myself so I defer to others," he added. 

"I can confirm it," said Director of the Defense Press Office Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, who briefed reporters alongside Trowbridge. 

The game, developed by Niantic, has swept the nation since its release last month. Using their mobile phones, players walk around until virtual Pokemon appear onto their screens. They are captured by throwing virtual Pokeballs at them. 

The game developers have placed Pokestops in certain locations, where players can collect supplies. They also battle their Pokemon creatures at gyms. There is a Pokemon gym located in the center of the Pentagon, in a courtyard, as well as several Pokestops distributed throughout the building. 

Some locations have asked Niantic to remove Pokemon-related landmarks, such as the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. 

There have also been privacy concerns with players being required to register personal information in order to sign up and download the game.

"You can imagine there's a number of reasons that wouldn't be a prudent thing to do, aside from many security concerns, just simply I think taxpayers would appreciate government phones being used for government purposes," Trowbridge said.