As Pokémon GO nears its 5th anniversary, the community is arguably bigger than it ever has been. There are tens of thousands of Trainers that play the game and enjoy it in their own way. This ranges from amazing raid challengers, such as Kaito Nolan, with the goal of clearing raids with self-imposed unique stipulations to challenge themselves further, to the amazing PvP community that is led in many ways by Trainer PogoKieng, whom to this day is still one of the driving forces of the Pokémon GO PvP Community and includes almost everything in-between. While the community is great for the most part, there are still clear ways for us to grow and evolve as a community to be even better. One of the biggest areas for improvement is the inclusion, treatment, and support of women within the scene, and that’s what we will focus on here today. It must be said before getting into this that there is no real overnight fix to this issue, but by working together as a community we can make it better and overcome it.
Accountability and Understanding
Perhaps the core of the issue is holding others accountable. While it’s perfectly understandable for people to make mistakes, this needs to be brought to their attention so that they can learn from the mistake and/or be educated on why what they did made someone feel uncomfortable. This ideally should be done by leaders within the local community to not only set a good example to other players within the community but also to show the other players that blatant harassment or mistreatment of women is taken seriously and won’t be tolerated should a pattern from certain individuals be brought to their attention. By removing players found to be guilty of harassing others, the community leaders ensure that, within their local communities, women feel safe, comfortable, and confident that if they are ever mistreated, their issues will be taken seriously by the community leaders in place. Of course, community leaders and admins of Discord servers also must be diligent to ensure that their fellow community leaders and admins don’t try to use their perceived position of power to do and act as they please at the cost of others. This can be handled simply as a small “community code of conduct” rules list or something similar.
Content Creators and Their Role
Content creators, primarily Twitch streamers, also play a huge role in ensuring that women are treated fairly with the respect they deserve as they have the largest audiences watching them in their gameplay. While it is absolutely impossible to ask a streamer to “take care of” or “handle” their chat while in the middle of gameplay, such as GBL or raids, it is entirely up to them to ensure that their admins are trustworthy and willing to remove viewers that harass or bully others, whether it be women or anyone else for that matter, as that type of behavior should not be tolerated. Content creators are often highly respected and loved by their viewers and seeing their favorite Twitch streamer or YouTuber not stand for harassment or mistreatment of others in their chat will quickly show the viewers that any type of harassment or mistreatment of other community members will not be tolerated and to treat everyone with respect. Disagreeing is perfectly ok as we are all human and are bound to see things differently from time to time, but disagreements should in no way excuse anyone for personally attacking or harassing others.
Supporting and Empowering Women
The ultimate goal of this is to make women feel welcomed, valued, and respected within the Pokémon GO community. While the above steps are great ways to do this, there are already many prominent women within the community that often times don’t get the recognition that they should get, whether it be content creators on YouTube, Twitch streamers, or key members of the Pokémon GO PvP community through GOStadium. While it should go without saying that women within your local community should be your priority when making sure they are welcomed and treated well, your favorite women content creators and global community leaders also deserve that praise and positive treatment. So rather than just harp on it some more, here’s a list of some women you should definitely consider supporting and/or watching:
Kaito Nolan: Affectionately referred to by many as the Raid Queen, Kaito is an incredible source for top raid counter-information and is constantly challenging herself to win raids in unique ways.
NeedforSpeedy: An amazing Pokémon GO PvP player who typically streams multiple times per week and is certainly someone you can learn from when it pertains to PvP.
Kaloeen: Consistently streams her GBL sets multiple times a week
PurpleKyogre & Alfindeol: These two streamers are known to have duo streams that feature great women in the PvP community. PK has the aforementioned Kaloeen on a duo stream every Mondy at the time of this writing while Alfindeol has duo streamed with NHoff multiple times in the past. They’re great examples of how Twitch streamers can help women of the PvP community be visible to more audiences and feel more welcomed in general.
GOStadium and PvP
MissMystic: One of the GOStadium PvP team leaders dedicated to Pokémon GO PvP Tournaments. She is the Producer for many Twitch streams on the GO Stadium channel. Naturally, she has a Twitch channel of her own as well!
4TheBattles: Consistently one of the best Silph Arena battlers in all of PvP and is one of the GOStadium PvP coaches who help newer players understand the mechanics of PvP and to help improve their skills. Similar to MissMystic, she also has a Twitch channel!
AllyssaRoseA: While GOStadium took it a step further with GOTeamUp and the Silph Arena has gone further yet with the recent introduction of Factions, this wonderful woman originally pioneered the team tournament concept with Battle of the Servers. Leader of the Arkansas PvP community and Arkansas PvP Discord server.
GirlsThatPvP Discord Server: That’s right! There’s an entire Discord server specifically for the wonderful women that enjoy Pokémon GO PvP originally founded by CochinoMum as part of the GirlsThatPvP movement. If you are a woman interested in the PvP scene but maybe not comfortable with your local scene yet, this is the ideal place to go. The easiest way to join this Discord server is to DM @GTPvP_Official on Twitter. MysticSparkle24, RocketClare, SarahElise, JojoVH, NHoff, Borchielein, Jottey, and Shad0wXo are the admins in charge and easy to approach with any inquiries you might have along the way. For Spanish and German speakers, there’s even specific language channels for you so you don’t have to feel that there’s a barrier!
We would be here all day and night, maybe even longer, if we were to list every single awesome woman within the Pokémon GO community that has earned and deserve our respect. Never be afraid to ask women within your community questions if they’re concerned about something you don’t quite understand. Asking for help in that situation is NOT a sign of weakness; it shows great character that you’re willing to learn about something you might not understand through your own life experiences. Understanding one another, respecting one another, and holding others accountable for their words and actions when necessary are the pillars we can build upon to keep growing and evolving this wonderful community of ours. It’s a game for everyone to enjoy and it’s up to each and every one of us that everyone, regardless of gender, race, or any other external factor feels welcomed, safe, and respected within this great community of ours. We all have our part to play, so Let’s GO support and respect everyone with the one common goal of making everyone, especially the women in the community, feel welcomed and respected.