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Pokemon Go lures us toward 'totalitarianism,' says Oliver Stone

Technically Incorrect: The famed director uses a Comic-Con appearance to muse on the all-encompassing nature of the new game.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Has it lured you into "surveillance capitalism"?

Alina Bradford/CNET

Are you totally engrossed?

Have you wandered strange streets over the past week, in search of monsters?

Famed moviemaker Oliver Stone is worried about you, erhaps even more than he's worried about the whole world.

He's not a fan of Pokemon Go.

As CBS News reports, the director of the new movie "Snowden" was answering questions Thursday at Comic-Con 2016 in San Diego.

An audience member asked about Pokemon Go: Did Stone have any feelings about the game that has seemingly outstripped all other human forms of entertainment over the last couple of weeks?

Oddly enough, the iconoclastic director did.

"Nobody has ever seen, in the history of the world, something like Google, ever," he began. "It's the fastest-growing business ever, and they have invested huge amounts of money into what surveillance is, which is data-mining. They're data-mining every person in this room for information as to what you're buying, what it is you like, and above all, your behavior. Pokemon Go kicks into that."

So it's a huge surveillance operation?

Stone continued by suggesting gaming's new delight is a portent of the future.

"You'll see a new form of, frankly, a robot society," he said, "where they will know how you want to behave and they will make the mock-up that matches how you behave and feed you. It's what they call totalitarianism."

Stone has some familiarity with totalitarianism.

After all, he made a 2014 documentary honoring his friend and longtime Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, whom many would say enjoyed quite some totalitarian tendencies before his death in 2013.

Niantic Labs, the maker of Pokemon Go, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some have contended that the game was initially able to wade through players' personal data, including emails. A bug was blamed and fixed.

It's evident, therefore, how Stone might see another flame being lit beneath civilization's funeral pyre.

For Stone, the game represents a new stage of capitalism. "Surveillance capitalism," he called it.

It's like your mom telling you to go play nicely in the sandbox, but she's watching you all the time.