Pokémon GO Trainers Need to Learn Some Respect!
If you live in a populated area, whether you are playing or not, you’ve seen the nerd herds of Pokémon GO trainers at almost any hour. What you may have also noticed is acts of vandalism, littering, and loitering (just to mention a few). While not all trainers are guilty of anything more than getting outside and exploring their local areas while enjoying the game, others are blatantly disrespecting their own local communities.
I wanted to hit this topic first and foremost, because it has become a HUGE problem at almost all areas where there are enough clusters of PokéStops to warrant a lure farm. A lure farm typically consists of 2-3+ PokéStops in close enough range so you can sit down and enjoy the catches from a bunch of lures simultaneously. Some of these lure farms take place in local parks and memorial areas, and this is where we’ve seen the worst of the littering problems.
— Fev Games (@FevGames) July 10, 2016
Everyone is (still) flabbergasted at what a crazy phenomenon this has all become. The above picture that we Tweeted 10 days ago is just a taste of what this local children’s science museum has looked like on a 24/7 basis. At first, the staff just asked that we respect the area, don’t block walkways, and leave enough parking for business to be conducted. Last night I was told the staff have put in a request to Niantic to have these PokéStops removed because the littering problem has become so severe.
Loitering and Trespassing
As long as you are respectful, most places don’t mind you being in the area to play Pokémon GO. Restaurants are living it up, and advertising to Pokémon GO customers directly.
Other businesses are not enjoying the increased traffic quite as and are dealing with: Congested parking, entry ways are blocked, and the herds of trainers are a little off putting for customers. Parks and other areas that close at certain hours are being completely disregarded by 24/7 lure farms, and some trainers that just gotta catch that Pikachu real quick.
Driving and playing
Just don’t. You’re either going to wreck your rig, yourself, or worst case you’ll hit an innocent. I’ve seen countless car wrecks from Ingress that have ruined lives. If you just have to play from your vehicle, bring a passenger that can duel wield devices, allowing you to be a safe(r) driver. I know, blah blah blah, ToS (Terms of Service)… But I’d rather see all trainers get home safe instead of being concerned about a ToS technicality. Arrive alive!
There’s a time and place for everything, but not now.
At just about any graveyard, memorial, or church, there are PokéStops and Gyms. Some trainers do not respect these areas and what they signify. Battling over gyms while people are getting married, mourning the dead, or practicing a religion is down right rude. You have to think to yourself, if you were doing one of these very sensitive things and a rambunctious group showed up, would you find that off putting?
Yes, those are trainers sitting on someones tomb in-front of a sign about showing respect for the grave site.
The most publicized of all these is the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. Like the children’s science museum mentioned above, they are also in communication with Niantic to have PokéStops and Gyms removed from their location as they don’t find it appropriate for trainers to play a game at memorials such as these.
Likely the worst we’ve seen from trainers is the vandalism of local landmarks. Pokémon GO trainers were already getting enough bad publicity as it is, and acts like these are just a new level of low for gamers. Thankfully, all three teams in the local area of the vandalism pictured below came together to clean up this vile act. We simply can’t let things like this happen, or the world will further stigmatize and reject AR (Augmented Reality) gaming.
When I was younger and in the Boy Scouts, there was one rule we always followed when visiting areas or campsites: “Always leave a place better than you found it.” Though I can’t remember a knot to save my life, this particular rule really stuck with me. We as Pokémon trainers should also embrace this rule and leave the world a better place than we found it. There is a reason Ingress agents have been visiting these locations since 2012, and not caused the issues we are faced with today. We not only respected the areas we visited, but we also gave back to the community (Ingress First Saturday events as an example).
The next time you visit the park, pick up a piece of trash every time you catch a Pokémon. Organize a local Pokémon GO event and give back to your local community! Be it giving old clothing to those in need, food for the homeless, donating money to charities, cleaning up an area, etc. Let’s be the very best and show the world that the AR gaming community can make the world a better place.