Pokemon Go updates will be 'respectful' of real-world locations like museums and memorials

The Pokemon Company is working on a way for businesses and private citizens to delist their locations as PokeStops and gyms.


As Pokemon Go spreads to more territories, Niantic will roll out updates that let real-world locations opt out of being listed as PokeStops and gyms.

The Pokemon Company's marketing director, J.C. Smith, gave an interview with the LA Times (via GameSpot) explaining the situation. "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."

All that attention forced The Pokemon Company and Niantic to triage concerns. Addressing issues such as server load topped the list. "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," Smith said.

Developer Niantic hasn't released a timetable for when changes will take effect, but some locations have been able to get delisted on a case-by-case basis. A spokesperson for the National Holocaust Museum worked with Niantic and The Pokemon Company to remove the museum. This was likely done via an in-game option that allows you to request removal, though Niantic must approve it.

Representatives from Arlington Cemetery and the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland have complained about players hunting for Pokemon in places where they obviously should not.

Tolerance for Pokemon Go players converging on homes and businesses varies. One man in Massachusetts woke up to find a throng of people gathered in his front yard. He and his wife have been good sports, but they're ready for the public to move along. "It turns out there's a great park right across the street from my house," he told GameSpot in an interview. "A simple fix may be nudging the coordinates a few degrees and then everyone's happier. The neighborhood keeps the gym, and I get a little more privacy."

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      July 29, 2016 3:43 PM

      How about schools? I am a teacher, and I haven't checked out what my school will be like (Pokestops/gyms/etc.), but I do know of some schools that have multiple Pokestops accessible from the classrooms. I've never played the game, so I don't know what that means, but a friend of mine (who is a teacher at one of these schools) is telling me that it means that the students will have something to interact with every minute they are their. He is predicting massive distractions to the classroom from this beyond the normal distractions that come from texting. We haven't seen a lot of news about this yet because it's summer break, but I'm curious what it'll be like when the school year starts.

      I have heard that college students are not doing as well this summer due to the addiction of the game, but that's really anecdotal.

      • reply
        July 30, 2016 8:10 AM

        Every 5 minutes so no biggie. ;)

      • reply
        July 30, 2016 8:42 AM

        This is the advantage of living in the burbs. The game favors urban areas with lots of interesting spots. Burbs got nothing. There's nothing within walking distance of me. I stopped playing because I couldn't get far enough just from the time I was at work.

Hello, Meet Lola