How Pokémon Go is creating a barrier for gamers with disabilities

The augmented reality gaming app has taken the internet and world by storm, as people are desperate to catch and collect the characters, making friends and getting fit along the way. But not everyone can fully take part in the cultural phenomenon.

Hope Niantic listens and acknowledges this! The game isn’t even really out of beta yet, so much room for improvement.

I also hope this pop-up community comes forward and helps disabled people participate. All those impromptu pokemon catching parties, shouldn’t be a big deal to organise carpools to get mobility impaired folks out playing as well. Or help people with mental issues like anxiety feel safe going out to catch some. Just like, if you’re going on a group pokemon hunt and can handle helping someone get there and back too, shout it out in the event? 

I got faith in this. I see so many accounts of people having clean, positive gaming fun with Pokemon Go and I really believe most of us will want to share.

I’m gonna reblog again because I see people in the replies going ‘just play normal Pokemon’ or ‘the point of the game is walking so you can’t change that’


Think for a minute about the shit you’re saying

This is the ‘should videogames have easy settings’ debate all over again and as usual, disabled people get the short shitty end of the stick. Just stop and THINK about someone other than yourself for a second. 

If the game gets a setting that allows disabled people to play, and you, despite not needing it, use it to cheat and thus feel dissatisfied with the game, that’s YOUR problem. YOUR fault. YOUR responsibility.

Don’t you think it’s really fucking selfish to insist that a game should NOT cater to millions of physically disabled people who already have extremely limited accessibility to everything in life just because you might be tempted to use the special features to cheat?

Yes. This.

I am physically disabled. I cannot walk more than a few yards at very random intervals. I have the movement radius of an engineless car if I don’t have my motorised bike. I have a wheelchair for travel purposes.

I simply can’t play pokemon go like it’s “meant to”. I would very much like to try to play it eventually, because people seem to have so much fun with it. But as it is now it’s pretty much unavailable.. And snobby nerds gatekeeping doesn’t help either.


You can catch Pokemon in your homes. If you just leave the app open, Pokemon will literally come to you. You just have to be patient.

I know that doesn’t fix the egg issue or the Poke Stop issue, but you can catch Pokemon from the comfort of your bed and anywhere else if you sit and wait.

@writeinspiration I know you mean well, but unfortunately, that’s just not true if you live anywhere but the center of a town or city. Having experimented with this myself because my physical limitations some days make it difficult to move (nowhere near the levels of some others above me, but still the issue is there), in my suburban neighborhood, you can catch maybe one Pokemon every hour with that method, two if you’re lucky. Also, Pokemon disappear if you don’t catch them within a certain period of time, so if you happen to have set your phone down and don’t notice them appear, then you’re out of luck and have to wait all over again.

Checking your phone constantly for hours at a time in order to catch what a non-disabled player could catch in a half hour (again, tested in my neighborhood, this time on a ‘good’ pain day) is not a matter of have or not having patience. Its just another part of the problem.

Okay, so, after all this, I learned that the amount of Pokemon that show up depend upon how many other people are playing the game at the same time. When the game first came out, I was living in an apartment building full of college-age people. So of course everyone was playing it. When I moved out, the amount of Pokemon became much less significant. There are areas in town where there are plenty of Pokemon, especially at the lake. But I can’t really catch anything from the comfort of my own home.

With this new update coming up, this is relevant again. I don’t know what kind of fix this situation requires for people who are stuck at home and/or live in the middle of nowhere, but it’s important for people to think of ways that we can make this right.

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