Holocaust museum bans ‘extremely inappropriate’ Pokémon Go players

13 Jul 2016

Pokémon Go, the augmented reality (AR) game that’s sweeping the world, has been played all across the US, but a Holocaust museum has had enough of players playing it there.

The very concept of Pokémon Go is to get players out into the wild to try and ‘catch ‘em all’ by generating AR Pokémon in random locations, but also at sites the game deems as good meeting locations to collect power-ups.

This, in itself, has led to some incredible situations where mass gatherings of people suddenly appear, and the game even led to a woman finding a dead body in a lake.

Future Human

Arlington Cemetery, too

But the game is being criticised by curators of historical places, including the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, which has, incredibly, had to ask players to stop turning up to the museum.

According to CNN, the museum’s director of communications, Andy Hollinger, said: “Playing Pokémon Go in a memorial dedicated to the victims of Nazism is extremely inappropriate. We are attempting to have the museum removed from the game.”

Other museums and places of historical significance have also emerged to express their unhappiness with playing patrons, most notably, Arlington National Cemetery.

The cemetery, in which many of the US’ national war heroes are buried, has also found enough people playing Pokémon Go on its grounds to warrant a comment, with it tweeting out this message.

The developer of the game, Niantic, has not responded directly to this issue of inappropriate locations, but it does encourage users to contact it on its website to report issues like this.

It’s not just important historical or cultural centres that are unhappy about the game’s meteoric rise, with a number of stores also telling players to not come in if they’re playing the game.

But then there are other stores that know that an app that uses your camera, GPS and screen at the same time presents an opportunity to hawk new phones.

Those of us outside of the US, Australia and Japan now eagerly await the game’s debut. Sadly, it has been delayed again as Niantic irons out many of the issues players have found so far, with the company only going so far as to say the game will be released elsewhere soon.

Pokémon Go image via Wachiwit/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic