So you see everyone playing Pokémon Go, and you've decided that you, too, would like to catch 'em all. On the other hand, you're American, so you're left crying out "Can't someone else do it?" Well good news: Someone can, and her name is Ivy St Ive, professional Pokémon Go trainer. The bad news? It'll run you $20/hour to get her services.
St Ive began advertising her services on Craigslist this afternoon, and gave her bonafides as follows: a huge Golbat tattoo, a history of playing Pokémon since 1997, and her ranking as a Level 15 trainer in Pokémon Go. St Ive is offering to "walk around in 1-4 hour shifts signed in to your account capturing every single Pokémon I come into contact with, activating every Poke Stop I pass and walking nonstop to help hatch your eggs," all for $20/hour. She also said that she'd be willing to send hourly updates to clients, as well as provide training, gym and battle tips, if they're requested.
St Ive told us over email that since the ad has gone up, she's heard from "a fancy media lawyer in lower Manhattan, a dude in Nebraska who I think was half-joking about his request and a woman in Texas who is currently pregnant and can't walk around and apparently has a very competitive relationship with her husband," but hasn't logged into anyone's account yet. Beyond that, she said it's been all media requests and "creeps asking me out for drinks and coffee."
In order to not become another victim of Pokémon-related crime, St Ive said that she's planning on only meeting people in crowded areas in broad daylight, carrying pepper spray and bringing her boyfriend or other friends. She theorized that her vetting process for clients, which includes getting people's full names and social media profiles, is turning off any potential creeps.
St Ive's interest in Pokémon started when she was seven years old, and that she sees Pokémon Go as an extension of the pretend Pokémon training her and her younger brother did when they were children. She also said that the continuing interest comes from it not being a typical game, that it isn't "violent and it's a very individual exercise. You aren't really fighting other people and it's more about slow, steady progress."
As for the ethics of playing a video game to achieve something for other people that they won't do themselves, St Ive said that of course it's unethical and that if you're willing to pay someone to do it, you're probably taking it a bit too seriously. Ultimately though, she said that she's "totally down for taking advantage of the people who are willing to pay me to play a children's game for them. Being a real-world Pokémon trainer is like, every millennial's dream. I'm just one of the first people to do it. "
And if you're someone who loves Pokémon Go but also love cheating on your significant other? Great news: "I will totally take any falls for you with your girlfriend if you pay me," she said.
Update, July 13th: St Ive has announced her retirement from Pokémon Go training.