In front of the Bataclan concert hall
In front of the Bataclan concert hall

PARIS — Ten months after the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, including 89 at the Bataclan concert hall, it is now possible to virtually "conquer" the tragic music landmark thanks to the latest distasteful twist to the augmented-reality mobile game Pokémon Go, which sends players to find and catch more than 100 species of little monsters in the real world.

It may be a machine-driven coincidence, but one that does not rest well in France, victim of three major terrorist attacks in the past 20 months, reports Le Figaro.

Niantic, developer of the gaming sensation co-owned by Nintendo, bases its locations on geo satellite data. Still, it can know in advance which "arenas" have been selected, and developers could have excluded Bataclan out of respect to the victims, Le Figaro reports.

It is not the first time that Pokémon Go has sparked controversy. In July, officials at the Auschwitz memorial denounced Nintendo for allowing its game to turn the former Nazi death camp in Poland into a "Pokéstop." One Pokémon Go player also found a Koffing (a poison gas type Pokémon) in the Holocaust Museum in Washington.

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At the Holocaust Museum in Washington — Photo: Alliance

Renovation has begun at the Bataclan, which has become a place of pilgrimage for those looking to pay their respects to the victims of the ISIS attacks in November. The concert hall is set to reopen with a performance by British singer Pete Doherty later this year.

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Society

"You Ass Tulip!" - What Turkey's Creative Swearing Culture Can Teach Us

Profanity is a kind of national sport in Turkey. But it can also be risky business, sometimes leading to lawsuits or even death. One political scientist researching Turkey’s unique way of conjuring curse words explains what the country's inventive slurs reveal about its fears and prejudices.

Street scene in Istanbul

Marion Sendker

ISTANBUL — “Take your mother and get lost!” That’s the literal translation of what Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the authoritarian Turkish president, once said to a farmer 15 years ago when the man complained about economic problems.

The Turkish people were shocked by his choice of words, but it was the farmer who was led away by police and later forced to make a televised apology. As he recently explained in a newspaper interview, he is still dealing with legal proceedings as a result of the incident because he is accused of insulting the president, not the other way round.

Erdogan’s behavior was certainly unusual for a head of state, but many Turks also saw it as honest and authentic. “In Turkey, working-class people often use rude words, which are seen as more straightforward and sincere,” explains Ahmet Özcan, a political scientist at Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University, who is currently working on a research project about Turkish slang.

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