(Madison) The augmented reality game "Pokémon Go" is everywhere, but gamers need to exercise situational awareness when playing. As of July 11, the game for mobile phones has been downloaded 7.5 million times in the U.S. and generated $1.6M in daily revenue for its developer, Niantic… and the game has only been available since July 7.
The goal of the game is to collect (or "capture") digital creatures called Pokémon by traveling to real-world locations. Some of those locations, including banks, require consumers to use some extra caution while playing. For example, a player who walks into a bank branch and chases a Pokémon into the vault or behind the teller counter may unwittingly trigger the bank's robbery response procedure.
"Banks take the safety and security of their customers and employees very seriously," explained Rose Oswald Poels, president/CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association. "Be respectful of your local institutions' policies while you enjoy playing the game."
Tips for Consumers
If you find Pokémon at a local financial institution, follow these common-sense tips to ensure a safe hunt:
- Ask first – Speak to a manager at the institution and ask for permission to play the game in the lobby of the building.
- Put your phone away – Don't pull out your phone to play inside the bank building until you have permission. As you might image, taking video or photos of the building's layout is considered suspicious activity in a bank.
- Take "No" for an answer – If the answer is "no" respect the institution's wishes and find your Pokémon elsewhere, knowing that your continued play in the building could jeopardize the security of other customers.