It’s only been available for five days in the Google Play and iTunes stores, and more than 7.5 million people have downloaded Pokémon Go. At first, you might think it’s just a wildly popular video game that allows Millennials to relive their childhoods. But then, the news reports might have you worried it’s something else entirely…
For example, one police station in Australia was designated as a Pokéstop (we’ll explain that in a minute), and players were entering the station to play the game. Ultimately, the Department had to post on their Facebook page and put a sign out front encouraging players to stay outside. Here are a few other stories that have emerged this week:
- Teens trespassing to catch Pokémon
- Criminals lure Pokémon Go players into secluded areas to rob them
- One man’s home becomes an accidental “gym”
You see, here’s how the game works:
The game detects a player’s location using their phone’s GPS, and then it shows them a map of nearby Pokéstops, where they can collect Pokéballs to catch wild Pokémon. The goal is to catch as many Pokémon as possible, and you have to go outside and move around to do it. Then players (or, trainers, as they’re called in the game) can go to nearby “gyms” to battle it out with each other to catch Pokémon.
And, they’re everywhere. We’ve even found a few here at Buildium, as you can see.
But then, that’s where the trouble starts. Augmented reality means players will run into each other in the real world—and players must interact with their real world surroundings to, as they say, “catch ‘em all.”
So how can you protect your residents from trespassing trainers who just want to catch a wild Charizard?
Well, it’s okay to be on the lookout for stray teens. You may also want to beef up your “Private Property” signs, if you haven’t already. Like the Police Station did in Australia, putting a sign up on your property limits to alert people they don’t need to enter your property to battle it out or catch a Pokémon is also a good idea.
Remember that this is a brand new game, and as with all technology fads, it won’t last forever. Rumor has it that the creators, San Francisco-based Niantic, are working on a way for property owners to request being removed from the map, and that future iterations may allow companies to pay to have their location become a “gym,” which would allow players to congregate in safe, public areas.
Stay tuned for more news on and this and other security updates for you and your residents. And, if you or your kids are playing Pokémon Go, we wish you the best of luck! And please be safe!Read more on Uncategorized