We live in what seems to be a very active area when it comes to Pokemon Go. There are half a dozen gyms and the same number of Pokestops visible in game from the couch in our family room. The advent of the remote raid pass has allowed us to form up with a raiding group to do raids on a regular basis from our home.
We can often find raids in progress to join when new raids arrive.
The gyms themselves, they change hands between teams with great regularity. It is rare to go more than 24 hours in a gym before being kicked out, and the gym closest to our house, located at a little park on a side street, changes hands two or three times daily, often in a predicable schedule. Often Team Instinct will take it in the morning, then Team Mystic will take it in the late afternoon, and Team Valor always swoops in somewhere after 9pm to take the gym back.
It is often the exact same people. Team Valor we call the pink team, because every evening the same people put a Chansey and a Blissey in the gym. Then, in the morning, the same Team Instinct person will kick them out and put in a shiny Chansey.
And this is often repeated for the other gyms close by us, with the same player names recurring. It changes up as we get further from our house, and down at the community center, where there are half a dozen gyms, a whole different group of regulars appear. But the gyms turn over and you are pretty much assured if you get into a gym in the morning that you’ll get some coins by the end of the night.
We don’t even bother taking the gym near us in the evening because we know Team Valor is coming, so why bother for just a couple of coins.
But then we go somewhere… as I may have mentioned, I was away all of last week… and not every place is quite like that. When I arrived at where I was staying, I went out for something to eat and spotted a couple of Team Valor held gyms that were all low health, so I cleared them out, jumped in, and went on my way.
Then I stayed in those gyms for days. One or two other players joined me, but the gyms never filled up. There were three total I jumped into, and it took two, four, and seven days for me to get kicked out of all three. The last gym I basically got in as I arrived and was notified I was being kicked out as I was waiting for my flight at the airport.
And this is not the first time this has happened.
Sometimes it seems reasonable. My wife was stuck in a gym for almost two weeks once because it was really only accessible from the freeway, so somebody had to be stuck in traffic to take the gym.
But other times we simply seem to be in areas that just are not that into Pokemon Go the way our corner of Silicon Valley is. I am not saying all of Silicon Valley is still crazy for Pokemon Go, but it is rare to linger for two days in a gym almost anywhere I have been here.
Oh, and it is almost all adults playing. Our whole Pokemon Go raiding group is in their 40s and 50s, some of them using the accounts their kids made and abandoned. When we run into somebody at a gym when we’re actually out of the car… cruising for Pokemon is very much a thing I guess… and they have kids along, more often than not the kids are impatient for their parents to finish up their gym battle and get going.
Or that is the way that the game seems to evolved in our part of the country. It is no longer groups of kids out looking for Pokemon. It is couples driving around the neighborhood, parking to take a gym or driving super slowly to be able to spin the three Pokestops on that block. I know the cars that our local Team Valor group drives, I’ve parked behind them on the street at the park and had berry wars with them.
I don’t know what it was like pre pandemic because I considered the game unplayable before pandemic incense and remote raids. There is a Discord for players in my county and that seems to be the same demographics you are describing. There are a few walkable developments where I suspect there are high schoolers playing on foot. I try to avoid these because you aren’t going to hold a gym for long if at all, and raid hour from a car really needs two people (one to drive and one to watch the chat for people changing their mind on which way to go).
But otherwise, yes, most of the gyms in the county you have to assume you aren’t getting your defender back for a few days, and some pokestops are so low traffic that you may not see many spawns.
I can only assume that they are making more money from user location data (and having users do unpaid VR street view scanning) than from the game. I’ve never seen a game announce it had dramatically expanded its revenue only to seem to be dying to roll things back to the old days as fast as users will tolerate.
The gyms in downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota were a proper battleground. I would take them in the morning during my walk, school children would take some of them back on their way to school, another wave would go through during lunch, yet another wave from the kids on their way back from school, and then sporadic battles throughout the evening.
I use to live in an apartment there gave me access to two Poke stops and a gym without having to put pants on. I lived in Pokemon Go luxury.
Sometimes it takes a whole month for me to get my PokeCoins from a gym. Its so annoying that not many people near me play Pokemon GO very often.