For those of you armchair mayors who cheat with your Foursquare checkins, your time has come. The mobile social network has announced that checkins outside the immediate vicinity of the venue in question will no longer net points, badges or mayorships.
Foursquare is now using your mobile phone’s GPS location (other tactics are used for phones without GPS) to verify your whereabouts to reward only those that happen near the actual place in question. Checkins that appear to take place far from the venue users are trying to checkin to trigger the “cheater code” and block incentives.
Whether you were cheating at Foursquare for the phony prestige or the goods that go along with certain mayorships, those wells of incentives have just dried up. For those of us who play by the rules, these changes are a welcome addition to the game and encourage a competitive atmosphere that’s conducive to honest battles.
Foursquare says of the changes that, “We’re never going to NOT let you check-in – you can checkin wherever you want, whenever you want – the idea is simply to not award points, mayorships, badges or venue specials if it looks like you didn’t really earn them.”
The system has yet to be perfected though and Foursquare admits that their first attempt to eliminate gamers is still a work in progress. If your checkins falsely trigger the cheater code alarm you should fill out their cheater code form and alert them of the problem.