The Tech Moves

What “Pokémon Go” Means For Women


On a recent Friday afternoon, dozens of Pokémon Go players are swarming outside San Francisco’s Beach Chalet pub—rumored to be the best spot in the city to catch a Pikachu—and at least one-third of them are women and girls.

They’re playing by themselves, with male friends or in bigger, all-female clusters. As they’re leveling up, they’re discovering how much more welcoming augmented-reality gaming can be for female players, who are frequently the targets of trolling and harassment in other branches of the gaming universe.

Since its July 6 launch, Pokemon Go has been drawing millions of new players outside to catch Pokemon characters, collect gear from Pokestops and battle at Pokemon gyms. (It’s also propelled Nintendo’s stock to new heights andinvigorated interest in AR.) Gamers who are used to sitting behind a screen are now interacting with fellow players in hotspots like the Beach Chalet or New York’s Central Park, sharing the delight of catching new critters.

It’s that change in gameplay that makes all the difference for women.


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