Pokemon go, cheating and morality.

Wed 23 May 2018 | tags: gaming

Those that know me know that recently, I've been playing a lot of Pokemon Go. I'm part of a Discord community for my locale, called PoGo! Thanet. I have nothing but nice things to say about the game and the people. It helps keep me fit by dragging me out of my office for a walk every day, and it's nice to have such good company while I do it.

I have noticed that a lot of the players are upset about people cheating in the game, while it also seemed like the majority of users were cheating themselves. I decided it would be interesting to see just how many people are actively cheating, and have a look into the moral contradicitons. To this end, I launched a survey using Google forms and asked that people fill it in honestly, and kept the survey anonymous. I ended up with 31 responses, which isn't the largest data set, but it's not bad.

Firstly, we need to define cheating. The Pokemon Go trainer guidelines are relatively clear on this:

```No cheating.

Don?t do it. Play fair. Pok?mon GO is meant to be played on a mobile device and get you outside to explore your world! Methods of cheating, unfortunately, are limited only by cheaters? imaginations, but include at a minimum the following: using modified or unofficial software; playing with multiple accounts (one account per player, please); sharing accounts; using tools or techniques to alter or falsify your location; or selling/trading accounts.```

So, first thing that would be interesting, is to find out exactly how many people are cheating. To do this, we asked them the following questions:

  • Do you own more than one account?
  • Have you ever allowed anyone else to play on your account (Account sharing)?
  • Have you ever sold or traded an account?
  • Have you ever used tools or techniques to alter or falsify your location (spoofing)?
  • Have you ever taken advantage of when your phones GPS isn't putting you in the right place (drift)?

If the answer to the first four questions was yes, or if the answer was "Yes, and I deliberately make my phone drift" to the final question