Though it was originally released back in 1996, Pokemon continues to be a favorite media franchise amongst children and some adults. The Pokemon empire started off as a pair of unassuming video games for Nintendo’s handheld gaming consoles, but quickly evolved into something much more. Today, the franchise accounts for several games across multiple platforms. One of the most popular Pokemon mediums is a card game, which Nintendo decided to add QR codes to recently as a way to give players access to additional digital content. This has caused some unexpected problems for at least one player.
Ben Lapp of Sherwood, Oregon, was playing the card game with his family one day when he found a QR code on one of the game’s packages. Lapp took out his smart phone and scanned the code and was greeted with a website containing pornographic content. Lapp’s young children – 7 and 9-years old – did not see anything, but he and his wife were shocked by the content. Upon closer inspection of the packaging, Lapp found that the code must be scanned according to directions and with a specific barcode scanning application.
QR codes have become a major hit with large companies, but they may be too eager to adopt the codes before understanding how to use them. Most consumers are still unfamiliar with the codes, thus they do not understand that not every code can be scanned with a simple mobile app. Companies will have to pay more attention to making directions for their codes more clear before releasing them to the general public.
It is unclear whether this is an isolated incident or if other families have been affected.