A Pokemon Go raid is a feature to the mobile game that is supposed to enhance game play. There is an aspect to this feature that I wish Niantic would remove: Private groups in Pokemon Go raids.
I hate private groups. They are totally high school cliques. If you don’t know anyone, you feel like an idiot begging to join their group.
I’ve seen various reasons for joining these private groups in a Pokemon Go raid. Some are slightly legit. They want to keep out spoofers or get more balls for all being on the same team. While I normally don’t like spoofers because cheating at a video game is totally lame, I don’t care if someone is spoofing during a raid. It’s helping me to take down the damn monster, what do I care if you are physically there or not? Also, don’t you think spoofers will just private raid anyway? There would be less chance of being caught if you can’t see that they are spoofing, right?
Besides, you can be 50 feet away from me and participating in the Pokemon Go raid and I won’t see you: on another level of a mall, behind shrubbery, or out in your car in the freezing ass cold.
What am I going to do, run around knocking on car windows at the local park when it’s five below, “Excuse me. Can I please be in your private group for the Pokémon Go raid? I’m totally not creepy or anything. I mean you might be, but I’m desperate to play this game, so I’ll forgo my usual fear of being murdered simply for being female. Thanks!”
And the mall is really no better, “Hi, random stranger. I know you’re playing Pokémon Go because I looked at your phone like a creeper. Can we raid together? Do you have any other friends? I clearly don’t. Please don’t stalk me.”
Trying to find people just being in public at the same time and place is enough effort. Having to negotiate and cajole them into thinking I’m cool enough to be in their private raid group sucks major ass. It’s way too much effort and I’m totally not cool.
I also love the people who think it’s easy to go up to a group of 20 to 30 strangers and just worm your way into their awareness. Really? So, you do that at parties without fear? You speak publicly with ease? You don’t fear rejection and derision? You don’t freak out when 60 eyes look at you like you’re a weirdo? Or worse yet, just ignore your very presence?
I honestly don’t know the reason why Niantic even included the option to raid in a private group. Maybe it’s geared towards kids who have large groups of friends and large amounts of free time. Maybe they didn’t consider those of us who play casually being hindered by this option. Maybe people are more social than I am and I should just suck it up and be that person who butts into other people’s social groups. Because who cares what other people think, right?
But thinking about kids, what about the kids who don’t have large groups of friends playing this game? What if they only know of one or two who play? If this came out when I was 11 or 12, I definitely would have had trouble finding a large group with which to raid. You expect kids to talk to adult strangers to play this game to its full potential? That seems very unsafe.