When virtual becomes virtual reality, reality’s problems come along for the ride.
That’s why Pokemon Go, the charming and delightful virtual-reality game that is sweeping the world, has inadvertently reflected the nasty way we humans separate ourselves into different tribes.
Turns out, ut’s much harder to win in black and poor neighborhoods because it largely crowd-sourced map was built by a large white, well-off, mostly techy audience.
This story is told well in this story from McClatchy News Service:
The locations of pokéstops and gyms are taken from the locations of “portals” in Niantic’s previous augmented-reality GPS-based game, Ingress.Its players weren’t diverse … So instead of a representative map, you get a map drawn, basically, by people with smartphones, tech knowledge, and spare time – high school kids, college students, nerds, and people with desk jobs.