Pokémon Go was developed right here in San Francisco by Niantic, Inc., so it seems only fitting that the next big disruption to come to the world of augmented reality gaming should also come from our innovation-gilded streets. We're talking, of course, about a post on Craigslist offering up the services of a Pokémon Go bodyguard.
It's difficult to tell if the listing, picked up by Capp Street Crap, is serious (an email to the poster has gone unanswered as of press time), but it's not too hard to imagine that it's more than satire. Keeping in mind the very real difficulties, like getting robbed, one might encounter while wandering around the city with a face glued to a $600 phone, the ad's opening is believable enough. It's where things go from there that begs the question as to just how deep into the Pokéworld we've all really gone.
"Trying to catch them all, but worried about getting robbed in the process?," the ad asks. "That's where I come in. My name is Larry and I am a professional bodyguard who is here to protect you while you search San Francisco for Pokemon."
OK we're with Larry so far. After all, even the San Francisco Police Department has warned about the dangers of getting jumped while playing the game.
"I live across the street from a battle arena and have seen several people almost get robbed or jumped for their iPhone," Larry continues. "DON'T BE IDIOTS PEOPLE! Is that Caterpie really worth it? NO."
Again, Larry is spot on. The chance to capture a digital worm is not worth getting jumped for. And hey, the $20 an hour listed price seems like a pretty good deal. It's where things go from there that has us scratching our heads (emphasis added).
I have been working on a leash system that allows you to be connected to me at all times. We can adjust the length of the leash so you can roam freely around the park or city with the comfort of knowing I am right behind you ready to kick some ass if needed.
I am also willing to discount my rates for multiple players. I can comfortably connect up to 3 leashes to my Poke-belt. I don't have any great photos of the belt :/ but did find something online that shows the idea. I would be the badass dog in this illustration, you would be the girl looking at her phone.
Unfortunately bodyguard "Larry" didn't respond to our email, which, in addition to straight up asking him if this is BS, inquired if he'd had anyone reach out to him about securing his services.
We may know for sure one way or another anyhow — it'd be pretty hard to miss someone walking around multiple Pokémon Go players on a leash. Which, if you see this, please, please send us photos.
Update: The person behind the posting returned our email, and, while the listing turns out to be a joke, it is one rooted in the author's own experience.
"I actually made this for fun to share with friends as a reminder of how dangerous Pokemon Go is," explained Jessica (not Larry). "I am an avid player and have found myself in some pretty dangerous situations by not paying attention to my surroundings. Today I actually ran into a tree branch trying to catch a Pokemon."
"While the leash is a joke idea," she continued, "you really do need someone watching out for you if you are totally focusing in on the game."
Our question as to whether or not any prospective clients have reached out to her was not answered, however, with the game continuing to grow in popularity, we would not be surprised if a cottage industry did in fact spring up around it — Pokémon bodyguards possibly included.