Norwegian Politician Caught Playing ‘Pokemon Go’ During Defense Policy Hearing [Video]

A senior Norwegian politician is catching a lot of heat after she was caught playing Pokemon Go during a defense policy hearing, Global News reports. Liberal Party leader, Trine Skei Grande, was caught on camera playing the location-based augmented reality game on her mobile phone during a hearing about her country’s defense policy. A camera caught Grande catching a Pokemon on the game right after she asked a question to the military experts present in the foreign affairs and defense committee hearing.

Grande’s party is a key supporter in the minority coalition in the parliament led by Norwegian Prime Minister Ena Solberg. The Daily VG, which brought the story out, asked the deputy leader of the foreign affairs and defense committee, Oeyvind Halleraker, for a remark on Grande playing Pokemon Go during the hearing. To this he gave a diplomatic reply.

“It is crucial that we take our responsibility in the NATO alliance and the Arctic seriously. We have been talking about very important things today.”

Trine Skei Grande, at first, hesitated to give remarks and declined requests by Reuters. But she later spoke with VG, saying that she stopped playing the game immediately after some members of the committee started taking offense. She defended herself by saying the game helped her perform better.

“Some of us have heads that listen better when doing something brain dead at the same time. We are not all alike.”

Pokemon Go is a free, location-based augmented reality game. The game was developed for Android and iOS devices by San Francisco-based Niantic, Inc. (Ingress, Endgame) in affiliation with the Japan’s Nintendo Co. Ltd., the owners of the Pokemon franchise. The game, which was initially launched on July 6, 2016, in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, has since been launched almost all over Europe and in various countries around the world.

Pokemon Go users use the GPS capability of their mobile phones to locate, capture, train or battle different Pokemons that the app displays on the user’s screen as if they were really in the user’s current location, using a technology called augmented reality. The game uses in-app purchases of different game related items to generate revenue for the developers.

After its launch in Summer, the game has become a worldwide phenomenon, and has been dubbed a “social media phenomenon.” More than 231 million people reportedly talked or posted about Pokemon Go on Facebook and Instagram in July. But the game has also met with some severe consequences along the way. There have been reports of pretty much everything from stampedes to obstruction of traffic to actual road accidents that have been attributed to the game. Also, critics have been particularly shrewd about how the game has been impacting workplace productivity.

Playing the game while driving can be dangerous. [Image via Shutterstock]
On Wednesday, the Philippines banned the game from government offices, following on the example set by their neighbors in Southeast Asia, Vietnam and Thailand. The Civil Service Commission of Philippines announced the decision via a broadcast on the country’s ABS-CBN network, requesting the developers of the game to remove government offices from their list of in-game locations such as Stops and Gyms. Maria Luisa Agamata, the public assistance and information officer of the commission, defended the government’s decision.

“It affects work. Employees might not be able to fulfill their duties at that time.”

Similar news comes from July, when a reporter attending a U.S. State Department briefing on ISIS was caught and called out for playing Pokemon Go. The spokesman for the State Department who was briefing the reporters on the latest battle against ISIS, stopped mid-sentence and called out a unnamed reporter for playing Pokemon Go on his phone. Wow, just wow!

[Photo by Olivia Harris/Getty Images]

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