Veterans remind Pokemon players of memorial park's sanctity by shouting obscenities, punching them


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/07/30/veterans-remind-pokemon-player.html


#2

For those who are wondering: Minnesota, according to this Reddit thread:


#3

I’m a rather avid geocacher so it’s been interesting – my son likes the Pokemon Go, and I like going out with him on these – to see the difference between how Niantic and Groundspeak (Geocaching parent co.) handle the placement of things.

I am a lawyer, and this area isn’t my area, but still:

Geocaching is very clear that they are a “listing service” – and while there are basic prohibitions in place (not within .1 mile of another cache, not near a railroad right-of-way, not on a K-12 school property, etc.), the placement of geocaches is done by players and approved by volunteer reviewers. With the exception of a very few caches (1? 2?), Geocaching owns none of its own caches and, again, there’s a review process – both to put caches up and to have them taken down. People are encouraged, through the listings for each cache, to comment about the status of the cache, any problems which may arise, etc., and people are quickly aware of them.

(There were a large number of caches in eastern Colorado where county roads and local driveways are sometimes hard to distinguish (Cf. MY FUCKING DRIVEWAY) and there were some problems – but mostly those were quickly identified and addressed. Geocaching tends, for the good of the activity, to yield in the face of specific opposition, even if it’s not a strictly legal opposition to the placement of cache.)

Here, Niantic seems to own (in the sense of controlling) the stops. However, there’s no obvious way to communicate through and to Niantic – or even with other players – about where problematic locations for Pokestops and Gyms might be. I think Niantic is heading for some trouble here because there’s no way – as here – where you can readily get the game to back off a spot that’s a sore spot for locals.

The old guys are being a-holes but the kids, and the game, would be better off to back out of the very small occasions where these things cause trouble.


#4

I am really confused as to what the problem is here.

  1. Park is pointless if people can’t enjoy it. Maybe there is more people there because of the game, but so what? What is the difference between hanging out and doing that and hanging out and having a picnic or throwing a frisbee around? Heck, Pokemon players are probably less likely to be running around, climbing on monuments and shit than a family with young kids on a picnic would be.

  2. While I wouldn’t support climbing on or defacing monuments, they aren’t the same thing as grave stones where there is a sort of sanctity around them. (There are some exceptions. I think like the actual Vietnam memorial or the Lincoln memorial or something larger like that does command a bit more respect.)

  3. Memorials are EVERYWHERE and often invisible. Going back to the car from Makers Fair, I spotted a memorial for US Postal personnel who died in the OKC bombing. There is a small triangle of land by where I used to live, basically in an intersection that has a large granite rock with a bronze plaque by a gas station. IIRC is is from the Civil War.

  4. My dad is 70 and a veteran, and I can’t see him getting up set at all over this. If there was a pond at that park he would be fishing at it.

Been meaning to get into this since I finally got a smart phone with GPS… maybe this fall when it isnt 100 degrees out and humidity you can swim through.

I am not sure you know what a gazebo is…


#5

Enraged veterans and pixel-addicted children are, generally speaking, not the ones to turn to for reasonable and calm outcomes. You can’t turn to either of those groups and expect them to be reasonable.


#6

The vet was obviously being a jerk, but it was clear he was in a bad place and wasn’t acting rationally. The situation likely could have been diffused had there been less bemused self-righteous smugness on the Pokemon Go player side of things and they’d just backed off and waited for the cops.

(Speaking of which, they didn’t run away at the first sign of danger, so I’m thinking they couldn’t be Mystic. Instinct would be my guess. God what a bunch of losers those guys are…)


#7

I’m not trying to defend the behavior here, so much as point out that the Niantic system is largely inflexible and litigation-adjacent while the Geocaching system is both flexible and litigation-remote. There’s just no way with the current Pokemon Go set up to crowd-source information about a problematic location (even if this one ought not be deemed problematic!).

And, yeah geoaching is a fun little thing. Give it a go, especially if you’ve kids.


#8

Where’s Gazebo Boy when you need him?


#9


#10

Sanctity and Violence are synonymous. Indeed.

[note sarcasm]


#11

I live literally next door to the small, preserved portion of the following site. On the battle’s anniversary, I’ve been awoken by cannon fire.

Pokémon Go has increased visitors to the site ten fold. (I think there’s a gym on the property) The local Parks authority actively encourages this

People who discourage the game are missing an opportunity to promote the original purpose of the park.
.


#12

Yeah, I’m having a hard time figuring out what the basic problem was here (and a video of people shouting at each other incoherently doesn’t help). Are the vets upset that the park is being used at all? (I.e. do they see the park as something that one should only experience by walking through reverently in silence?) Are they upset by the shade-tent thingie that was erected?


#13

On the CBC, there was in interview with an indigenous woman who was angry that there was a gym on her family grave. Basically the last piece of land her family had left was turned into another commodity for the colonialists.

On the other hand, this is probably the best way to draw attention to these memorial sites. Part of me thinks that the bigger tragedy is that Niantic doesn’t offer up better histories of the things that are tagged. Maybe people would behave better if they had more context.

At the end of the day though, what I do on my phone is my own goddamn business, especially if it is place that is accessible by the public with no specific rules regarding electronic devices. Plus I hate the cultural notion that you can’t appear to enjoy yourself in/near cemeteries. Like, what’s that all about?


#14

supposedly the “tomb of the unknown soldier” had been used as a picnic spot before the guards were posted.


#15

Part of the problem is that the Veteran’s Memorial area isn’t exactly separated from the rest of the park. It is in its own area, but it’s always been just another part of the park (it’s not fenced in or anything). Given the structures in place, I guess it’s kind of an obvious place for a gym, but if Niantic moved the gym couple hundred feet to the east where the band shell is, that would solve the problem and people could battle for the gym during the weekly band concerts.

Source: I grew up in Winona, MN. Pretty sure my family has done business with the short angry gentleman at some point. He runs a tree service.


#16

It might have been the twentieth time that week that the angry gentleman ran into a Pokemon corporate-driven-automaton who’s achieving his/her self-actualization at that memorial by doing what their phone tells them to do.

That, and FSM-forbid that people know what’s going on and what went on in their community, eh.


#17

I don’t even understand what all the hollering was about, but the “get off my lawn” factor looks like a big part of it. I think my kid would be smart enough to just back away slowly and head in a different direction. It’s not as if that one gym is having a today-only sale on Holy Grails.


#18

Does he use a saw or just cut them down with vitriol and profanity?


#19

The reality is for most PG players they will never learn nor care of the history or intrinsic value of the landmark they are using as a gym or stop.

This said if these areas are in fact public domain/property the “get off my lawn you irrevrent kid” mentality just doesn’t apply. The person regardless of care or ignorance has every much right to be there as does the person invested in the original intended use does.

Would anyone say its ok if the shopping spree lady screamed at a bunch of kids sitting around at the mall food court that “You kids aren’t spending money here…get out of my shopping mall!”? No. of course not.

This being said, when the site in question is a memorial of some kind…those visiting it should be aware of its meaning and purpose and pay homage and respect accordingly.

Short version -----
Old vet: shut up, you know better than to pick a fight with kids. You missed an opportunity to teach them. Shame on you.
Snotty kids: You are supposed to know better by this age. At the very least have some level of respect for another person and walk away. Find another Pokemon stop/gym.


#20

It seems to be a park, not a cemetery. It even looks like it has a bandstand. Parks are normally used for recreational activities. Even when they have lots of statues and memorials on them. Unless it was a battlefield or something.