Pokemon Go is sweeping the nation. Following the app’s release in July, the game quickly shot to the top of the App Store and has been downloaded by fans and curious newcomers alike.
The game has had publicity high points, like Muncie Animal Shelter’s advertisements asking for players to walk the shelter’s dogs while they play. However, it has also been the subject of much criticism. Earlier this week, major new outlets reported the appearance of Pokemon in the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. The presence of players who are visiting the museum solely for the purpose of catching Pokemon has understandably irked the administration.
They’re not the only ones who are upset with where Pokemon Go is taking players. Police have issued warnings to players that catching a rare Pokemon does not justify trespassing, and homeowners and businesses alike have found found themselves shooing bold players off their property.
Whether you’re a hardcore player or you’ll never touch the game, the existence of Pokemon Go will have an impact on your privacy. Since players are spread across a wide age range, from those playing during school recess to old fans who’ve grown up to love Pokemon cocktails, a variety of responses can be appropriate for securing your privacy. Here are some things that you can do to secure your home or business from unwitting trespassers.
1. Put up a sign
Sometimes, the simplest way to keep your private property private is to remind people where they’re walking. Something as simple as a paper sign will likely need replacing after bad weather, but it will definitely make your stance on trespassers clear and provide a gentle reminder to players about boundaries and where they should and shouldn’t be.
If you do make a sign, try adding pictures of Pokemon to it. This will catch players’ eyes and let them know that your interest in privacy has to do with the game specifically.
2. See about delisting your house or business
Presently, there are no exclusion zones within the game. Pokemon can and do appear just about anywhere. However, with recent press and demand going through the roof, it’s only a matter of time before Niantic, the game’s maker, adds in a mechanism for concerned property owners to keep Pokemon out of their homes and workplaces. Keep your eyes on the news for any mention of this feature.
3. Get a security camera
If you’re seriously concerned about your privacy, then a security camera is a very official, very professional way to protect it. Plus, the days of expensive security camera setups are long gone. These days, just one camera can cover a large piece of property if you do your research and choose the right security camera.
Just seeing a security camera is enough to make most would-be trespassers think twice. Those that don’t will be caught red-handed in the act, whether you’re around or not.
There’s also one more benefit to consider. With injuries already being reported and the certitude of more to come, having eyes on your property non-stop can protect you from liability. So, when a hapless player walks into a tree on your property, there’ll be no doubt in anyone’s mind that your hands are clean.
4. Get a guard dog
Well, maybe not so much a guard dog as the sweetest little puppy in the universe. Having a dog around who gives a gentle warning bark to players to remind them that somebody lives here can be a great help — just as long as they don’t try to throw a poke ball at it, that is.
5. Direct players elsewhere
Within the game, players can drop incense, an item that lures Pokemon to a specific location. Dropped in your home, incense can turn your yard into a gathering place for Pokemon and players alike. If you’re a player who likes the game and likes other players, but doesn’t want his or her home to become a hot spot, try dropping incense at nearby public locations such as a local park or school.
Pokemon Go is an exciting augmented reality experience, but it’s quickly leading us into unknown territory. Going forward, players and non-players alike are going to have to figure out together how we can share our virtually augmented world respectfully. As a player and a private individual, these are some of my recommendations, but I’d love to hear about your Pokemon Go experiences on social media!
Featured photo credit: Eduardo Woo via flickr.com