Man Narrates On How His House Turned Into a Pokémon Go Gym Overnight

By Jim Liao
Jim Liao
Jim Liao
July 11, 2016 Updated: July 11, 2016

In real life, Boon Sheridan lives in a home that was formerly a church about 40 years ago.

In the virtual world of Pokemon Go, that same location is a gym, and Sheridan is the gym’s “owner.” But not by his design.

Pokemon Go, the wildly popular game released July 6 by Niantic, scatters Pokemon in locations in the real world, which players have to physically reach to collect. 

Landmarks such as libraries, parks, and churches often become “pokestops” or gyms where players collect items or train their Pokemon, respectively.

As Sheridan’s residence was labeled as a gym, that may have come about because it used to be a church.

Sheridan has tweeted en masse about the development:

Sheridan also answers the question of what’s it like to be home and seeing people approaching one’s yard at all hours of the day. He describes the process further:

Sheridan does make a point that not all Pokemon trainers have been “jerks,” and some were mindful that they were essentially trespassing on someone else’s property.

He even met one of them, writing in a reply, “DUDE HAD A POKEMON BELT. He’s for real, yo.”

As the kids came and went, Sheridan took the opportunity to note Pokemon Go’s more sinister implications including the privacy issues it raises.

“Do I even have rights when it comes to a virtual location imposed on me? Businesses have expectations, but this is my home,” Sheridan says in a tweet.

Sheridan also makes the point that such occurrences can devalue a home. First, neighbors might not be too happy with it—though it isn’t something he can control. Meanwhile, a near-continuous stream of people coming and leaving one’s home can also give the impression it’s a drug dealer’s den.

According to Sheridan’s research, it would seem it is currently not possible to have your home removed as a Pokemon Go location. Sheridan also bemuses the differentiation between “adhering to real world rules” as stated in the Pokemon Trainer guidelines versus adhering to real world laws.

As it turns out, the points of interest used in Pokemon Go were submitted by Ingress players, Niantic’s former augmented reality game released in 2012.

Sheridan however, doesn’t consider it an valid excuse, citing that Pokemon and Ingress have entirely different levels of popularity.

Jim Liao