'Gym' designation leads 'Pokemon Go' players to Massachusetts man's home

By Ben Hooper
A "Pokemon Go" player accesses the gym at Boon Sheridan's Holyoke, Mass., home. Screenshot: CBS Boston
A "Pokemon Go" player accesses the gym at Boon Sheridan's Holyoke, Mass., home. Screenshot: CBS Boston

Subscribe | UPI Odd Newsletter

HOLYOKE, Mass., July 12 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts man says his house is being overrun by gamers after the structure was marked as a gym in popular smartphone game Pokemon Go.

The game, the latest installment in Nintendo's Pokemon series, calls on players to visit real-world locations designated as "Pokestops" and "Gyms" to collect items and strengthen their captured Pokemon, and many such locations are churches -- and at least one former church.


Boon Sheridan of Holyoke said he noticed people gathering outside of his home last week and he soon discovered the reason: his house, a former church, had been chosen as a gym location for Pokemon Go trainers.

"Living in an old church means many things. Today it means my house is a Pokemon Go gym. This should be fascinating," Sheridan tweeted Saturday.

Sheridan tweeted a picture the following day of cars blocking his driveway.

"This is what I'm a little leery of. People pulled up, blocking my drive way as they sit on their phones," he tweeted.

"To be clear, they were apologetic and moved as soon as I asked. But you can see how this could keep playing out," Sheridan wrote in a follow-up tweet.

He said his interactions with Pokemon Go players have thus far been positive.

"Everyone who's come by has been very respectful of the space," Sheridan told WGGB/WSHM. "Everyone's been super cool."

He tweeted a picture of his meeting with Jonathan Ventura, the player who is the current leader of the gym on his property, who he called a "nice guy."

"It's nice to actually meet some of the people who are playing a game at my house," Sheridan said.

Sheridan said he is hoping to have the gym moved to another location, but he has yet to successfully make contact with Niantic, the formerly Google-affiliated company behind the game.


"Do I even have rights when it comes to a virtual location imposed on me? Businesses have expectations, but this is my home," he tweeted.

He said the game has had at least one positive effect on his life.

"My nephew just found out about the gym and a campaign to visit us is underway. Ah, those sweet, sweet 'Cool Uncle' points," he wrote on Twitter.

Latest Headlines