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Etiquette for Pokémon Go players

After quickly becoming ‘Game Of The Year’- material for its impressive number of installs, time spent in-app, and raising Nintendo’s market value by $12 billion, Pokémon Go’s daily users has dropped and plateaued, but the game still boasts an impressive amount of dedicated players. You can chalk it up to nostalgia, the sheer fun of augmented reality, or even to its simple game mechanics, but Pokémon Go is here to stay.

(Manila Bulletin)

(Manila Bulletin)

When a huge number of people begin engaging in a new activity, problems naturally arise. For a game as active (you have to walk around in the real world) as Pokémon Go, the potential for social gaffes increase. A man mesmerized while trying to catch that ultra-rare Blastoise, after all, is a man who suddenly loses awareness of what is happening in the world around him. To prevent some blunders and possible accidents, here are some tips on how to act responsibly and maturely while playing Pokémon Go:


First – and most important of all reminders – play Pokémon Go responsibly. If you’re walking around in the streets, avoid suddenly stopping without regard for other pedestrians. Don’t bump into people just because you’re concentrating on your smartphone. Don’t be a Snorlax by blocking the road and inconveniencing others. And don’t even think about playing Pokémon Go while you’re driving. Not only is it dangerous, with the Anti Distracted Driving Act taking effect, it’s also illegal. Go ahead and farm the Pokéstops all you want, but don’t impede traffic on the road.

(Manila Bulletin)

(Manila Bulletin)


Part of the fun of Pokémon Go is the various beeps and sounds of the game, especially when you’re catching the delightful pocket monsters. But when you’re out in the streets, it would be rude to subject other people to the noise of your game – and that’s exactly what it is to the ears of people uninterested: noise. It doesn’t matter how cute the sounds are to your ears – one man’s jam is another guy’s nuisance. So if you absolutely have to enjoy the sounds of the game, do every one a solid by using your earphones. Just make sure you’re still aware of your surroundings and not in danger if you do so.


Pokéstops are usually items of interest in an area – it could be an art installation, a landmark, or even a playground. As such, people tend to congregate naturally on these sites. With the advent of Pokémon Go, and especially when someone activates a lure, players have been known to camp out on Pokéstops, making it virtually inaccessible for non-players. And while it is true that you have the same right as anyone to be in that area, staying there for long periods means children being unable to run around and play, old people without benches where they can rest, pets with no place to chase other pets on the rare occasions their owners can take them out. When you’ve turned a public place into your own personal campground, it’s not about rights anymore – it’s about sharing. So take a walk from time to time. Stretch your legs. Farm the other nearby Pokéstops. Glance up from your phone, circle the area, and make the day better for everyone.


I’m sure you’ve seen the videos – a horde of people stampeding after hearing a singular shout of “Dragonite!” while the perpetrator hides and laughs. And while making the mob follow your whim may look silly, pranks like these are not really funny nor particularly clever. What’s worse, they can be dangerous – tricking a group of distracted people into running is never a good idea. So regardless of whether you play the game or not, don’t pull a prank on Pokémon Go players – it’s time you elevate your brand of humor anyway and graduate from playing inane pranks on people.


Even if you’re not talking to anyone, there are places and situations where playing a video game is simply inappropriate. When you’re in class, when you’re in a meeting, when you’re at church, or when you’re attending somber occasions such as funerals or visiting the sick. Even if you’re not bothering anyone, a mature person would be sensitive to the needs of others. Exhibit your sagacity by choosing politeness and respecting others.


The Internet is replete with Pokémon Go anecdotes where players help other players – particularly the elderly, the children, and even those with special needs (those afflicted with autism spectrum disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, to name a few). In an age where most gaming genres are plagued with toxic players trash-talking and teabagging newbies, Pokémon Go players are known for being counter-culture by the simple fact that they act decently toward others. Join this rebellion by continuing to be nice to other people. It’s so simple I bet your parents already taught you how: be courteous, think of others, respect each other’s rights. By acting decently toward others, you can form new friendships that will make your Pokémon hunting not only more productive (contribute lures) but also safer (criminals will hesitate to victimize players if you’re in a crowd).

In whatever you do – having dinner, enjoying your walk with your headphones on, or even playing video games – the mark of class is not how much your dinner costs or the brand of gadgets you use: it is in how well mannered you are in every situation. Practicing etiquette isn’t hard or complicated; it simply means behaving a little better than what is absolutely essential. Be on a mission to civilize. Cultivate a culture of honor and decency. Strive to change society simply by holding fast to your good manners. Even in things as simple and innocuous as playing Pokémon Go, we have an opportunity to build a better nation.