‘Pokémon Go’: Mobile Game Isn’t Welcome Everywhere, And Niantic Is Working On Option To Remove Pokéstops

The Pokémon Go mobile game is extremely popular. Unfortunately, there are some who don’t view this as a good thing.

If you own a smartphone, then it’s a very good chance that you’ve downloaded the game and have begun hunting Pokémon. Players are banding together to catch the most elusive, rare virtual monsters. While the game’s tutorial introduces Pokémon Go as a simple task of throwing Pokeballs and capturing the local Pokemon, it also becomes clear that players are required to travel in order to get their hands on the more uncommon Pokemon.

To add to the adventure, Pokémon Go introduces Pokéstops. Players are able to move to these points and interact with them, giving them a chance to score extra items among other goodies. They’re scattered all over the world, encouraging active trainers to step outside their door and explore their immediate surroundings. While this sounds like a grand idea, there are some who find it more than intrusive.

Reports about Pokémon Go have come in at a rapid pace. There are success stories that introduce friendship and working together, and there are also stories of tragedy and robbery. Private properties find players to be trespassing in some instances, going so far as to complain that they want to opt out of Pokémon Go. In a report by Forbes, it’s being said that there are hospitals complaining and wanting to do away with the Pokéstop locations that may be in their vicinity.

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Locations such as The Allegheny Health Network in the Pittsburgh area and The American Hospital Association are asking Pokemon Go developer Niantic to remove its locations from the game. As a hospital contains sensitive information and other critical aspects to its inhabitants, representatives are stating that players are bringing potential harm to patients and personnel. In short, Pokémon Go is disturbing business and causing unnecessary traffic.

There’s also the complaint that employees may be playing Pokémon Go while on the job, further increasing the risk of businesses and their productivity. It’s not uncommon to for Pokémon to be randomly generated into a given area. As the game’s Pokéstops are scattered far and wide, any landmark holds the possibility to be visited by zealous trainers.

In response, Niantic has heard the complaints and is working on a solution. According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, Niantic is working on a way to remove real-world locations that don’t wish to be included in Pokemon Go. The Pokemon Company’s marketing director, J.C. Smith, weighed in on the change and the fact that Niantic is working on such a fix.

“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,” Smith stated. “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.”

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Smith continued, addressing the matter of landmarks and wanting Pokemon Go to be safe and fun for those who are involved.

“For us, we’re making sure the play experience is done right,” said Smith. “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.”

Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a specific date for the update to go live. However, Niantic appears to be adamant in making Pokémon Go acceptable for players and the locations they plan to visit.

[Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images]