Storify: Niantic PokemonGo Ban

Storify is shutting down in May and has informed users that we have to migrate our content elsewhere if we wish to save it. This is one of my old threads.

I'm posting this for historical value, because sometimes people still email me about it.

Welp, Niantic has confirmed that I've been banned from PokemonGo. That's that, then. Sigh.

The stated reason was "use of third-party apps" which is "considered cheating". Which, you know, whatever. Fuck disabled people. I'm kinda over it. It's sad to me, though, because I liked my Pokemon and I can't say goodbye.

And I was planning to spend more money on the game. Buy official gear. That sort of thing. But wev. But definitely buy lures to place at hospitals for the GOOD disabled people. *eyes roll into the next county*

To be clear, my crime was emulating an Android environment on my computer and "walking" up to the local park when bed-bound. I didn't hop to New York or London, which I would consider cheating and worthy of at least a warning or soft ban. But Niantic permabanned me without warning for emulating a walk up to the nearest park to my house.

I can think it's a fair cop while also thinking their lack of accessibility options are shit. I sent in an appeal. I might have been terminated just for side-loading the app itself, it's hard to tell from the form letter. Kinda funny the lengths I went to in order to play their game and give them my money. Hours of effort just to INSTALL the thing.

Someone should write a "how not to piss off disabled folks with your ham-handed launch" but no one will learn from this, I wager. People will say I deserve to get banned for breaking the rules, but the same people didn't want me to complain about accessibility options. So... if disabled people shouldn't complain but we shouldn't make our own accessibility options either... what's left? Not playing?

Yes, it makes sense to exclude disabled people from all major cultural touchstone events of our generation, sure. Sometimes it's just... really hard to be excluded from fun things because your body lost the genetic lottery. I don't like to talk about downer stuff on my TL, but I do live with depression over my disability and I frequently feel... not delighted.

So it's... difficult to have a fun thing you managed to make work for you taken away because you bootstrapped a way to make it work. And the funny thing is, it would be SO EASY to make a disability accessible version. So very easy. But when people asked, major game developers came out to mock us. I'm not naming names, but they did. (I responded to one.)

Oh well. This is a farewell to the four Ponyta I inexplicably hatched and the three Clefairy I caught. May you run free, dears.

@whodreamedit: Yeah, I saw a thread about this in a group I'm in on Facebook, so it's definitely not just you. Which is awful. (Not that it wouldn't be awful were it just you. But it speaks to widespread prejudice which, ew, c'mon @NianticLabs)

Update: Motherboard interviewed me on the Niantic ban and wrote a nice article.


Post a Comment