Why do Pokemon avoid black neighborhoods?


Okay? I wasn’t actually responding to you about that; the note about avoiding black neighborhoods was in the story above. That’s what I was responding to. Not you.

And the info I got was from Game Informer, but I’m “sketch” for saying so. Got it. That’s me. Sketch.


Whoa, you’re sketchy about someone you find odd?

That’s fascinating! Do you usually gain insight by being insulting?


You guys! Maybe they’ve just all been caught! I mean, they’re all on welfare and don’t have jobs, right?! Plenty of Pokemon Go time.


In my mostly white suburban neighborhood we got nothing. City living people, black or white have more stuff around them. Churches, museums, landmarks etc.
There’s a library around 2 miles from me and that’s it.


Police stations, jails, bars, bus stops, pawn shops.


About as much insight as you have of slang, apparently?

But yeah, if someone brings up race, specifically a hurried denial of something to do with race when you said nothing about it, I do find that pretty suspicious - or “Sketchy”, for those of us with a working understanding of informal language.


That’s nice. But with an international audience, you aren’t clarifying your point by using local informal language.


The article this thread is based on has the premise that “Pokemon avoid black neighborhoods”. I think the truth is far more complex than that reductive, baiting statement. My comment about it was in response to that statement, and had nothing to do with anything you’ve said. But you decided I was (a) randomly saying something racist to you and (b) that made me “sketch”. Yes?


I like the concept of crowd-sourced reality game content, however, I think to make augmented reality games a more developed concept, there will need to be some work on the quality of the metadata in use. The places to go in some communities are sparse, which wouldn’t be terrible if there were only some way to contribute, but I don’t think this is a fire-and-forget thing-- there needs to be some sort of rating system for stop locations to at least call attention to the best (or worst) ones. Some of the Ingress world data seems stale; a restaurant that is now out of business. The only Gym I’ve located so far within 8 miles drive of me is at a gas station. Really? I have to drive past all these awesome places to a Gym that’s at a gas station one town over…

There are some things they could do without all the editorial infrastructure, such as noticing relative density of players and adjusting the frequency of random encounters suitably for the people who operate mostly in these more rural locations.


I see the game is already causing problems with public transport:


In the news tomorrow: 1000s of Japanese Pokemon players walk into the sea and drown.


Thanks Obama?


I have a working understanding of the language of twits who feel superior while dripping with disdain. How about you go for a walk. Take a break from your presumptuous poseur act?


that’s a bit harsh. they weren’t trolling. they were taken aback at the fact the racial effects of pokestop placement – god, now that’s a series of words i never thought would appear in a sentence together – were being outright dismissed.

personally, i think this is the tip of a new iceberg. it has connections to prison parole analytics, to “metadata” targeting of terrorists, and a whole host of big data things.

as @nungesser and others pointed out, there are disparities in placement due to factors other than race – rural vs. urban divides, etc.-- but race is included in this.

if black lives matter, then maybe black gamers matter too. to paraphrase that professor’s letter from the other day: not as an exclusion of other issues or other effects, but as a focus: something worth noticing and considering.


Actually, they don’t spawn quite as “randomly” as all that. From what I’ve heard from other Ingress players, Pokémon spawn hotspots correlate with areas of high cell traffic, which are also responsible for fields of wild “XP” energy in the Ingress game. So if you have Ingress, you can actually see the areas around you where Pokémon are likeliest to spawn, represented as fields of XP energy.


For what it’s worth, while Ingress was still accepting portal submissions, I went around and submitted over a dozen churches in what I believe is a largely black part of Indianapolis—where apparently no one else had bothered to go before, because there weren’t any portals in that area but there were lots of churches that seemed ideal for portals. The area between east 16th and 19th street, just west of Roosevelt Avenue. Got a number of successful portal submissions to my credit, plus increased Ingress’s (and subsequently Pokémon’s) presence in that neighborhood. That was me, doing my part for equality in the game without putting any further thought into it than, “Wow, look at all these places nobody bothered to put in yet, right here for the taking! Score!” So, y’know, go me.

But because of that, I can definitely believe that there are places that lack portals simply because Ingress players never bothered to go there and submit locations. Not just black neighborhoods, but also rural areas have that problem simply because there are a lot fewer people, and hence fewer players, around there.

The question is, what’s Niantic going to do about it? They lacked the ability to approve portals promptly in any meaningful way when the only game involving them was the relatively obscure Ingress. Now that everyone and their sibling is playing Pokémon Go, it’s impossible to imagine the deluge of portal submissions they’d get if they opened them back up. Heck, they even went ahead and removed the “request a Pokéstop” option from their support form, apparently because too many people were using it when it hadn’t even officially been opened yet.

In any event, it’s good that the popularity of Pokémon Go is bringing this matter some much-needed public attention. Hopefully it will lead to them working out a way to solve the problem and reopen portal submissions to everyone again. I still want to earn that badge in Ingress, after all!


Unfortunately, they removed the option to submit a new Pokéstop specifically from the list of support requests. There is still a more general support request category for “No Pokéstops near me,” but it’s not clear what they’ll do about that.


it’s a bit reflective of their attiude towards another user here, and then me when I had the gumption to tell them they were being insulting. I’m not above it, but unlike Han, I don’t shoot first, and they didn’t like it when it was turned on them. Point made.


I’ve got a feeling that they weren’t ready for the press to find it. The stories I’ve read were basically gamer press articles saying “hey there’s a submission form!” and then quotes from Niantic guardedly saying “Er yeah, just don’t submit a house… it’s for businesses…” but I’m guessing the flood of requests was just too much.