The 10 Worst Places to Play Pokemon GO

The 10 Worst Places to Play Pokemon GO


Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past couple of days, you’ve probably heard of Pokémon GO, the mobile game that puts augmented-reality Pokemon catching in the hands of the millions of people who’ve been wishing for such an app since they were children. It’s taken the internet (and the world) by storm, going from release to global phenomenon in just days, infiltrating locations (public and private) across the globe.  In view of people not having a sense of where it is and isn’t appropriate to play a game, here’s a list of the 10 worst places to play Pokémon GO.


Photo Credit: Alice Keeler, Flickr Creative Commons

10. In Class

Picture this: you’re sit
ting in economics class.  It’s the 8 a.m. section – because you were a little too casual with registration.  You, like everyone else, are wishing that you could be doing something else, anything else.  Several people are already screwing around on their laptops instead of paying attention, so you figure it couldn’t hurt to see if there are any Pokemon in the area.  You pull up the app and slyly swivel around to see if that Geodude (or, god forbid, another damn Pidgey) you’ve been wanting is nearby.  But apparently you didn’t turn slyly enough, because next thing you know you’re walking around campus with your professor trying to find rare Pokemon for extra credit.

9. At a concert


Photo Credit: messicanbeer, adapted under Flickr Creative Commons

Concerts are fun.  Getting snapshots of your great time at the concert is also fun.  The anticipation of enjoying almost-front row seats is fun.  But what isn’t fun is the group in front of you filming the ENTIRE thing with their phones.  Most of us have experienced this, and some of us maybe were those people.  But we’ve grown up, and we realize that it seems like we’ll be sharing all the footage we took with our friends.  But we won’t, because the audio is blown out and the lighting changed too quickly to get a good picture.  But you know what’s worse than that?  Someone who stops jumping and dancing and contributing to the atmosphere to trudge off to the side to catch the Pikachu that just appeared.



Photo Credit: Kenneth Lu, Flickr Creative Commons

8. At the movies

Most people don’t use their phones in a movie theater when the featured presentation is up on the big screen.  But in the few days right after a movie’s release, when the theaters are packed almost to capacity, with crowds sitting bunched together in their seats, someone getting up and trudging through the row to get close enough to the Pokéstop marker – AFTER the coming attractions – won’t be welcome.  Thanks for accidentally kicking over my extra popcorn and spilling my soda.  Enjoy your three Pokeballs, ass.

7. At the office


Photo Credit: Michael Lokner, Flickr Creative Commons


Ah, the office.  The place where we’re supposed to be doing work.  But, if Reddit is any indication, it’s actually the place where a huge number of cube farmers waste thousands of man-hours looking at gifs.  And now, with Pokémon GO, it’s also the place where non-smokers take “smoke breaks” that are actually “Poké breaks,” so they can get even LESS work done as they constantly go use the Pokéstop nearby and check on their Tauros that’s protecting the Pokégym across the street.





Photo Credit: Yellowstone National Park, Flickr Creative Commons

6. In public bathrooms

This should go without saying, but public bathrooms are still supposed to offer privacy.  It would be wise to stop yourself before you absentmindedly wander into one while you’re trying to capture the group of Ponytas that just spawned nearby, lest you wish for a barrage of dirty looks and a wave of embarrassment.





5. In the Middle of The Road

In my experience, most Pokemon spawn in grassy areas (or at least places that tend to be grassy, i.e. parks, parkways, and lawns).  But maybe there’s one across the street.  Could it be? Is that a Mewtwo?  It’s too far away to tap, but if you could just dash over to where it is you’ll have one of the most powerful Pokemon of all time,
and, evidently, be the only person with one since it hasn’t been caught by anyone in Pokémon GO yet.  That’s how it will stay too, because instead of a Mewtwo, you got two broken ribs and a sprained ankle from the car you practically walked into.

4. While Driving

Texting and driving is already a serious issue, and with the number of people who willingly put theirs and other’s lives in danger to send out one last laughing-so-hard-it’s-crying emoji, it’s not a huge leap to imagine people frequently glancing down at the phone next to them, constantly looking for the swirls of leaves and hoping that you feel it buzz, letting you know there’s a Pokemon ripe for the catching.  Fortunately, there are a lot of people who won’t do that, so they’ll be able to stop just in time when another Pokémon GO player walks in front of their car.

3. At the Birth of Your Child

Mr. Mime Birth

Photo Credit: Lindsey Turner, Flickr

Supposedly, there are few things more magical than watching the birth of your child, because through the pain and the screaming another mini-you is being brought into the world.  Of course, what might be more magical is being able to say you used all 400 of your Magikarp Candies to evolve your Magikarp into a Gyarados.  All you need is to catch one more Magikarp, and it’s just right there in the hall…





2. A Funeral


Photo Credit: brownpau, Flickr

Surely there isn’t a more perfect place to catch a Ghost-type Pokemon than at a funeral, right?  It’s what Old Uncle Ash would’ve wanted.  But if you go for it, you’re probably also likely to catch a score of disapproving looks and maybe even lose your invitation to the reception afterwards.

1. Memorial Site

The reason this list even exists is because people apparently don’t know when to stop.  Both the Arlington Memorial and the United States Holocaust Museum, along with Poland’s Auschwitz Memorial, are asking Niantic, the creators of Pokémon GO, to remove them as locations where Pokemon can spawn, and with good reason.  Hallowed ground where a very serious part of history is either honored or preserved should be respected, and while those that have played Pokémon GO in those places may not have had bad intentions, they still should’ve known better.

By Andrew Janson


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