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Inappropriate Places to Play ‘Pokémon Go,’ Ranked

Control yourselves

Getty Images/Ringer illustration
Getty Images/Ringer illustration

Pokémon Go: It’s a lifestyle, a movement, and a topic that has apparently piqued the interest of Werner Herzog. Because the augmented reality game encourages people to travel through the world hurling AR balls at AR monsters, it has also risen to a Stacey Dash level of public nuisance. Judging from recent footage of someone playing the game during a Beyoncé concert, it’s safe to say that society has abandoned all common sense and social etiquette in pursuit of Clefairies and Ponytas. Below is a list of locations people have played the game, in order of least to most offensive.

10. An Adele Concert

Earlier this year, Adele dragged a fan for filming her concert, urging her to enjoy it “in real life, rather than through your camera.” It would follow, then, that Adele would have similar words of advice for the depraved soul who tried to catch a Venonat — which, c’mon, is like the Cee Lo Green of Pokémon — at the singer’s concert in Chicago. To be clear, opening the app during anything from 21 is off limits out of respect for the hardest emotional phase of Adele’s romantic life, while anything from 25 is cool because that album is more about bittersweet longing than heartbreak anyway.

9. A Pre/Post-Coital Bed

Are you in a room with a naked person? Is there a chance you may have sex or have just had sex with that person? This is not a time to catch Diglet, even if you have noticed that Diglets resemble a certain appendage of the male anatomy. Do not insult your partner by including his or her naked body in the same frame as a Zubat. Unless, of course, this is part of a kinky, mutually agreed-upon sex game. In that case, live your freaky life but please consider a better Pokémon to do it with.

8. A Rihanna Concert

A Rihanna concert is much like a pre/post-coital bed in that it is a generally sexy atmosphere where sex is addressed at length. But it’s slightly more faux pas to awaken your trainer while attending the Anti World Tour because the nation’s premier wine glass accessorizer has made it clear that Pokéball slinging will not be tolerated. Or, as she put it at a recent performance, “I don’t want to see you catching any Pokémons up in this bitch.” That goes for you, too, Drake.

7. A Graveyard

Several confused cemetery caretakers have recently expressed horror at droves of young people milling about tombstones with the hopes that they will catch a Gastly. “I’m not sure the people who bought plots here want to have their loved ones inundated with people wandering around the cemetery,” Andy Hill, the president of New York’s Webster Cemetery Association, told one local news station. Unless you are also visiting a graveyard to gather for a Harambe candlelight vigil, graveyards should be avoided out of respect for the dead and their potentially vengeful ghosts.

6. The Delivery Room

God save the man who was compelled to catch a Pidgey while his poor wife was pushing a human out of her vagina. Like, if you’re going to interrupt the magical birth of your child to catch a monster, at least only do it for a Venomoth or a Jynx? Zoning out of that tender moment for a Pidgey is pretty much a guarantee that you are a garbage husband.

5. A Beyoncé Concert

I relate hard with the videographer who captured footage of a girl playing Pokémon Go mere feet away from Bey. “This bitch is playing Pokémon,” he yelled in disbelief. “She’s playing Pokémon when Beyoncé’s singing. Fucking Pokémon!” At the very least, this clip deserves an entire subsection (no matter how poorly sourced!) in the Pokémon Go Wikipedia page. It is a classic study in smartphone addiction.

4. The Location of a Child’s Senseless Killing

As Vibe pointed out earlier this month, Pokémon Go has chosen to commemorate the death of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old Cleveland resident who was slain by a police officer two years ago with — [deep breaths, try not to scream] — a Pokéstop. Sorry, Pokémon Go creators, even if this is an attempt at wokeness, paying respect to an innocent victim does not mean visiting the gazebo where he was shot to collect eggs and life potions. You can’t be respectful and promote your brand at the same time. It doesn’t work like that. CC: the rest of Silicon Valley.

3. A Funeral

We learned long ago that teens get so bored by funerals that they must resort to taking selfies. Fine. Sure. Go ahead and live out a horrible teen stereotype by taking a glamour shot in the bathroom mirror while Aunt Kathy isn’t watching. Aiming a Pokeball at an open casket, however, is just plain asking to be haunted. Or maybe it’ll trigger some sort of karma-based Final Destination scenario. Everyone featured on this Tumblr has been warned.

2. The 9/11 Memorial

If the last decade has taught us anything, it’s that trivializing 9/11 or its victims’ families can basically ruin your life. But the engineers at Niantic apparently never got that memo, and instead created a Pokéstop out of the 9/11 Memorial pools. For some, the site serves “a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history.” But Niantic has somehow turned it into a sweet spot to catch a Magikarp. Maybe they should donate some of their profits to pay for the health care of the first responders who are still feeling the effects of the attack. (This Pokéstop has been taken down, so thankfully this won’t be a problem anymore.)

1. A Holocaust Museum

Here’s a general rule of thumb for how to interact with people, places, and conversation topics relating to the Holocaust: You don’t speak about the Holocaust, you don’t think about the Holocaust, you don’t look at a Holocaust survivor, you don’t visit a Holocaust memorial unless you are able to put your full existence and attention at that moment into acknowledging that the Holocaust was one of the most heartbreaking, harrowing events in modern history. That means, Niantic, you don’t plop a handful of Pokémon at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and, users, you don’t open the Pokémon app and try to catch them. Take it from Newt and Callista Gingrich, making light of a memorial to a WWII tragedy does not play well on the internet.