For Pokémon trainers who want to be the very best, hitting up pokéstops is a MUST. That’s where you get your supplies like pokéballs, potions and razz berries. Most pokéstops are outside of businesses or community common areas which have begun to see a dramatic increase in foot traffic since the games releases. Great news for businesses but, perhaps, not great news for all.
Certain locations featured in the game, such as the Holocaust Memorial Museum or the 9/11 Memorial Museum, clearly are not an appropriate place for gamers to be catching them all. After receiving several requests from different location to be removed from the game, Pokémon Go creators are updating their policies.
Soon, locations will be able to opt-out of being part of the game. This means there may soon be less pokéstops for players to visit. Though the timeline of the change in policy has not yet been revealed, we know that the changes will not happen overnight. Currently, Niantic hosts an online form to request removal from the game.
Some locations which have already requested to opt-out of involvement include the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan and the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
Pokémon’s consumer marketing director J.C. Smith said in a recent interview,
“When something is really popular, we have to figure out the most respectful way to deal with it and make sure that everyone is playing safely and doing things in a respectful manner. It’s only been two weeks since it launched, and there’s been so much attention and so many people playing that it’s tough to think of all the ways it could affect the world…. For us, we’re making sure the play experience is done right. Initially, there was some server overload, which we’ve worked on. Now, we’re looking at features in the game and how to fine-tune them so that it’s appealing to the fans but also respectful of the private institutions that are affected by it.”
This all makes sense. It definitely doesn’t seem appropriate for some of these places to be included in the game. We just hope that, for each pokéstop that is removed, a new one is included somewhere else.
What do you think about Niantic’s updated pokéstop policy? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.