Since it was officially released last week, Pokemon GO has been capturing the headlines fairly often for a variety of reasons that are more or less appropriate. The Internet already amassed plenty of stories regarding Pokemon GO players and their findings, business owners and their view on the impact the game has on their customers, and people who have seen an opportunity to make a profit by offering their driving services to Pokemon GO players searching for hotspots. However, the latest story surrounding the famous mobile game includes the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, whose communications director recently asked Pokemon GO enthusiasts not to play the game in the museum’s premises.
As many readers already know, Pokemon GO is a game that requires players to be on the move, searching for challenges and loot, with the main goal of the game having users catch as many Pokemon as possible and train them to become stronger. Part of what makes the hunt for Pokemon interesting is that they spawn at random locations, in greater or fewer numbers according to the traffic density of a given area. On the other hand, this can result in Pokemon spawning in rather inappropriate locations, and one image that was posted online, showing a Pokemon located just outside the Helena Rubinstein Auditorium has sparked a lot of concerns. According to a Reuters report, as a result, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum recently asked Pokemon GO enthusiasts not to play the game in the museum’s premises, as this would be “extremely inappropriate”. The museum’s communications director, Andy Holliger, said that they are “attempting to have the museum removed from the game”. He also added that “technology can be an important learning tool” and that the museum encourages visitors to use their smartphones in order to engage with exhibits, however, “this game falls far outside of our educational and memorial mission”.
As yet, Niantic – the developer for Pokemon GO – didn’t respond to the museum’s request and complaints, so it remains to be seen whether or not the museum’s area will be removed from the game. On the other hand, a Reuters reporter who had visited the museum on Tuesday said that although many smartphone users were using their devices for capturing photos or sending messages in the museum’s premises, none of them were playing Pokemon GO or any other mobile games for that matter. With that being said, we can assume that the large majority of visitors are responsible enough – on their own - to avoid inappropriate behavior.