Why do Pokemon avoid black neighborhoods?


what makes you say that? if black neighborhoods lack the sort of markers that are used, then - in fact - they do.

it doesn’t matter the intention, it’s the effect.

and as @Hasteur says, if your neighborhood lacks “local gems” ( that people playing ingress would deem such )… well maybe then that reflects a historic bias.

it’s just a game, but acknowledging its shortcomings maybe helps show why suddenly saying “hey everybody, we’re equal now” isn’t enough. there’s inertia in the structure of the world that effects even the most trivial of things.


Because AI uses data that was created by White dudes in the first place.


Proving once again that The Good Wife was ahead of the curve in tech plotlines: http://observer.com/2015/11/the-good-wife-recap-7x9-too-many-people-of-color/


Local gems have previously included

  • Restaurant that few people outside of locals would know about. A franchise fried chicken site is not a local gem. But a Fried Chicken place that people drive hours to come eat at is.
  • Parks. An undeveloped lot is not a park. Ideally the park should have at minimum seasonaly appropritae groundskeeping and a name.
  • Local hangout/gathering place. A franchise starbucks is less likely to be accepted than a independent coffee shop
  • Local Art. A commissioned mural is more likely to be accepted over graphitti tagging by the local gang (though exceptions are always relevant)


They don’t use those markers to appear. They appear randomly, though type of land affects what shows up supposedly, like water. Time of day can affect what show up too. <-- I might be incorrect about that, but I have heard different things from different sources.

The two parts of the game that are dependent on the user sourced land marks are Pokestops and Gyms.

Stops give you 3-4 items, like more pokeballs that you need to catch them. So it is a resource. You can be in a resource dry area, such as my neighborhood has nothing unless you want to drive a mile or so away.

Gyms are where you battle, but its a part of the game that is sort of peripheral to the main idea of finding them.

But as it has been pointed out, that is starting to be rectified, as one can submit new landmarks to become gyms or stops.

There is one other mechanic which I heard affects frequency and that is cell phone activity. That is they are more likely to show up at a busy mall than in your apt complex. Anecdotally, that appears to be the case.

ETA - Pokestops with a lure affects frequency as well. But in my limited experience, the stops and gyms don’t seem to affect frequency (except with the lure)


It’s reading a problem into a situation where there isn’t a problem intended. As others have pointed out, the Pokemon database is expanding and growing and is mainly based on markers found in public areas. There’s very few markers in areas such as suburbs (white or black), housing developments (white or black), or apartment-centric neighborhoods of any ethnicity. There’s zero Pokemon in my neighborhood, which is a combination of student housing, lower-income housing, and more affluent residents. Two blocks away, there’s tons of them around indie coffeeshops, parks, murals, and historical markers. The game is based on the idea of getting out and walking, not staying in your neighborhood.


Man, that’s going to be difficult to translate into a more rural setting. In real life, you’re in the middle of nowhere, but in Augmented Reality. . . you’re still smack dab in the middle of goddamn nowhere


There’s been lots of complaints early on from people in rural areas, residential-only neighborhoods, suburbs, etc about the lack of Pokestops. It’s not limited to black neighborhoods by any means. Adding more markers and populating neighborhoods with Pokemon (and I don’t mean just Pidgeys, Spearows, and Rattatas, dammit) is one of their big challenges to deal with, definitely.


i only see Bats after dark in my neighborhood. during the day, Pidgees rule the area.


i stated i wasn’t talking about causes, i was talking about effects.

not in dispute. a single source can have multiple effects.

if we are okay with “pokemon” being a stand-in for “pokemon go”, then the boingboing headline is still accurate, just imprecise.

the sourced article was headlined: “There are fewer Pokemon Go locations in black neighborhoods, but why?” it’s precise, but wordy.

at any rate, an argument about semantics – for me – misses anything interesting about the question of the whole.

cool. i hadn’t heard that.

great! never said different.

what do southern baptist white kids have to do with pokemon? i’m not even sure they’re allowed to play.


fortunately, by definition, there’s not many people who are going to be effected :wink:


[quote=“nungesser, post:11, topic:81552”]
They have already opened up Pokemon GO to new submissions and are actively trying to expand the database beyond Ingress. The main rule right now is that only businesses (or libraries, churches, etc) can become new Pokestops, so that a sneaky Pokefan can’t make their house an always-on lure and just sit at home and rack up XP.
[/quote]Which was unannounced, appears in the same area as support tickets, and with no official word on what they’re going to do with those submissions. So, you seem to be extrapolating quite a bit from that single form.

Ingress submissions are still, at this point, closed, unless you’re a business purchasing/sponsoring a portal, which has always been handled by a different team. It’s unclear if that will go directly over to Pokemon Go, but with how portals have been coming up simultaneously as they appear in Ingress, I’d say it’s likely.


[quote=“wrecksdart, post:19, topic:81552, full:true”]
I have family up and down the East Coast of US, and when I drive, I take backroads. I’ve been one of those church portal whores for some tiny, out of the way churches. At the time, it had the added bonus of some weird looks from the locals as I arranged for the best image angle to submit.
[/quote]Hey, no judgement mate. I submitted at least four myself(though I was beaten to all of them), so I can’t really tut-tut you for it. You incentivize players, they’re going to engage in that sort of behavior, player incentivisation is not some secret arcane wizardry beyond the ken of mere mortals.

On the upside, the same applied to libraries, which was nice.


If by “unannounced” you mean they didn’t put out a press release, well, no. But it was widely reported on gaming-news sites with quotes from Niantic about taking requests. I’m only “extrapolating” that they’re openly taking requests for new markers and have clarified that homes and private residences aren’t permitted.


The poke stops/gyms are an issue, but the game requires a lot of walking and registers movement across the ground much better than up stairs or across even large buildings. The most dense areas are loaded with Pokemon, but you will get a much wider variety in rural areas.

The worst place to be is the suburbs where there are no poke stops, and few areas to walk around really well (especially cutting across gaps) to use the tracker. I ran out of poke balls pretty quick, so I had to go to the mall in order to walk around and collect items in order to go back home and catch more Pokemon.

The best possible place to play is in a popular pedestrian area that’s quite large like a park. You have a lot of stops, gyms, and new Pokemon. But then you might get angry people attacking a gym that don’t want you hanging around. It has made a very bizarre world at times.


I submitted over 600 portals, and I loved out of the way places and spots like West Baltimore.

However, portal density is greatest in places where people play. It is undeniable that Ingress is played more in busy commercial downtown areas than anywhere else, and understandably the portal density there is extreme (Show me an Ingress player with 100M+ AP and I’ll show you a guy that either lives or works in a major commercial/financial district.)

Suburbs and rural areas are the least served, but because they lack such features like public art almost entirely (Car-oriented suburban commercial districts are also very bad.) Some of the worst portals were created under guidelines designed to ameliorate this.

Inner city areas are actually quite rich in features for portals (tiny vacant lots turned into city parks, big murals and other similar public art, and storefront churches are most common,) and if someone like me was ever through there, those folks have places to play Pokemon Go. The real problem is that people in already dense areas kept submitting new things to enhance their farms, and submitting hundreds of portals inside graveyards, etc. Niantic needs to re-enable portal addition with a focus toward underserved areas, and ignore completely anywhere with pre-existing portals.


Only some areas allow new portal creation, it is specifically geofenced to areas on the coast of Japan (Ishinomaki being a notable area contained in one fence)


These are the areas allowed:


Quit your job, quit your life, catch them all!


[quote=“nungesser, post:35, topic:81552”]
If by “unannounced” you mean they didn’t put out a press release, well, no.
[/quote]Yes, that is exactly what I mean by unannounced, since they didn’t announce it at all. Meaning, it’s unannounced, since they didn’t make any announcement. Well spotted, I mean exactly the thing I said.

What you’re slightly desperately trying to imply is an announcement, was the form being found by people who they have no real control over, which doesn’t constitute an announcement in any fashion.

[quote=“nungesser, post:35, topic:81552”]
I’m only “extrapolating” that they’re openly taking requests for new markers and have clarified that homes and private residences aren’t permitted.
[/quote]Then show me where they said that. Anything you’ve said is fine. And anywhere is fine, excepting the form, since we don’t actually know what they’re doing with the information from the form.

Or better yet, don’t. I’m honestly pretty sketch about you, since I was talking about why so many portals are on churches, and you decided to follow that with a random-ass line about how they’re not avoiding black neighborhoods, even though I never said anything of the sort. Which is pretty odd.