- The father of the 4-year-old boy who was rescued while dangling from a balcony in Paris was playing Pokémon Go at the time, prosecutors say.
- The game, which became immensely popular when it released in 2016, uses augmented-reality technology to make it appear as if Pokémon are in the real world.
- The father of the boy faces two years in prison.
The viral so-called Spider-Man rescue video, which shows a man rescuing a 4-year-old child dangling from a balcony outside an apartment in Paris over the weekend, led many viewers to ask: Where were the parents?
French prosecutors said the boy’s father left his young son at home to go shopping, but instead of coming right back, he decided to play Pokémon Go, the mobile game that achieved viral fame when it was released in 2016.
Meanwhile, his son was found dangling from the apartment’s balcony by a crowd of Parisian onlookers, prompting Mamoudou Gassama, an immigrant from Mali described by The Guardian as the “Spider-Man of Paris,” to scale the side of the building and rescue him.
The father faces two years in prison, while Gassama has been offered citizenship by President Emmanuel Macron.
Pokémon Go uses a phone’s camera to show Pokémon on screen, making it appear as if the creatures are appearing in the real world. The game was an instant hit and was downloaded over 500 million times before the end of the year, but critics said it caused people to stop paying attention to their surroundings, including while driving. It has since declined in popularity.