Trainers, today we are bringing you another fan submission from a reader who reached out to us on our Discord Server, which you can join by clicking here. This is a rather unsettling story about a small community found by spoofers, who had the intent to begin reigning over the gyms in the city.
Many towns deal with spoofers sniping their gyms, feeding berries (although there is now a remote berry feeding feature within the game), or taking over gyms mere minutes after you had placed in a Pokémon. For a small community, the frustration of having to battle people who are not even present for gym control and coins, can be detrimental. However, you can push through it, and you can reach out for opinions and help, like TRJ on Discord has with his submission.
I live in a community of roughly 550 Pokémon Trainers. About 200 of those are active trainers and the rest are your seasonal players. Over the lifetime of this game, it has been a vision and large goal for me and others to bring our community together and become one that local cities talk and brag about. Our community uses Discord to organize for raids and for reporting spawns found by trainers. Over time our community has become very strong. When needing help for a raid of any tier, it takes but only a few moments to have 10+ people report to you saying that they are on their way. We’ve never needed or have considered needing “air support” of any kind. For how small our community is, we make do with our population and exceed at such a high level. We have trainers of all levels and are there to encourage and teach other the way of the game and that playing with a community is better than playing solo.
However, at the flip of a switch, today our community was shook.
Every city has their concerns/opinions with spoofers, but our city would have an instance here or there when something like this would arise. It never called for us to worry or anything, but today that changed. As the hour was winding down on Community Day, I noticed a gym was being taken down. I drove up to the gym to find no one present and I assumed a spoofer was about to drop in. I was wrong. Six spoofers of very high levels all dropped in at the same time. I then noticed all the gyms around were in the process of being taken down and all these usernames I have never seen in the almost two years of this game were dropping in. By the end of the hour, we counted 50+ user names that we’ve never seen before drop in to several gyms all around town.
It was like the air was sucked out of me. It hit me that our small community has been found. Our peaceful, close knit community has now been discovered. We feel deflated, we feel outnumbered, and we feel defeated. Coming from the person who is writing this story, I’m an individual who is Level 40 times 2. I love this game and what it has done for me in making friends, but when your community gets attacked by people who aren’t even present, it takes the will to fight out of you.
I fear that our community we’ve spent countless hours building from the ground up is at risk of falling apart. The look on peoples faces when they witnessed these gyms going down was devastating. My heart lies with all of our community and I’d hate to see it fall to shambles. We as leaders will continue to do our part and keep this town together, but we’re fighting a fight that should have never happened. So here’s a letter to Niantic. (If you’re reading this) I’m not mad at these spoofers. They have found a way to make the game benefit their play style. Until this is resolved, this is something that you have to deal with. You have a giant heart for all of the communities out there that you now have a monthly event dedicated to all of us. No matter how flattering that is to us, Community Day events may become non existent in communities like mine because our members will feel the need to stop playing. We can’t contest with them, but you can. Please help us, you are our only hope.
– From a concerned Community Leader,
It is a sad day when you feel that the game is unplayable due to non-legit messing up the equilibrium of gyms and gym control. There are plenty of other things you can do in the game than take down gyms; but for many people, gathering coins and taking over gyms is the most enjoyable aspect of the game. Coins are arguably the blood of the game after all, and spoofers (and rude gym campers, honestly) can ruin that for you.
What would you do in this situation? Would you report the players and reach out to Niantic the best you could, resort to not playing the gym feature as often, or would you quit the game in general because of ruined experiences? It is a much harder thing to deal with in more rural areas than large cities with a huge population, that is for sure. Let us know in the comments and if you want your stories featured be sure to reach out to us on Discord!