Yesterday, the world was captivated by Ivy St Ive, a professional Pokémon Go trainer/IRL Misty who offered to catch and train all the cute little Pokémon hiding around town for you to the tune of $20/hour. St Ive's crafty venture was admirable, to say the least, but alas, fame killed her business, and now she's retiring to keep Big Pokémon from unleashing Team Rocket (or a lawyer) on her.
In an email, St Ive told us she's taken down her Craigslist ad, after friends warned her that news of her venture might reach Niantic, the company behind Pokémon Go. "I've had several emails from people warning me that offering to be a Pokemon trainer IRL is completely against the terms and services of Niantic, a company that is notorious for banning people and their account-holders," she said. "I don't want to break any laws and I definitely don't want to get banned from Pokemon GO, the game I have been waiting for since 1997 just to make a quick buck."
Indeed, according to the Pokémon Go rules in section 7, subsection IV, you are only permitted to play on your own account. Everyone knows that.
St Ive, who says she created the Craigslist post "as a sort of joke/tongue in cheek way to make what I thought would be like, an additional $200 this weekend," said she was unprepared for the fame that comes with feeding into a cultural frenzy, and all she really wants is to catch her Pokémon in peace. "I'm a kind of introverted person and started having a ton of anxiety around not being able to respond to people's requests or keep up with the media or anything," she said. "I only got to play Pokemon go for like 15 minutes yesterday which was totally lame! I made the post so I could play more Pokemon, not become a gaming sensation."
St Ive will now trade in fame and fortune to return to her non-Pokémon related career: writing about the intersections of health, the environment and human rights. You might be lucky enough to spot her in the wild, wherever the rarest pocket monsters roam.
Additional reporting by David Colon.