Holocaust Museum asks Pokemon Go players to hunt pocket monsters elsewhere

The museum's communications director is looking into getting his site excluded from the game's gym and PokeStop listings.


Droves of players have been filtering through the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, but not to brush up on their history. The museum shows up on Pokemon Go's radar as a PokeStop, a hotspot where players can stock up on the poke balls needed to capture Pokemon found out in the wild.

Communications director Andrew Hollinger told the Washington Post that "Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism" (via GameSpot).

Hollinger is looking into getting the Holocaust Museum delisted as a PokeStop location, and not just because a steady trickle of visitors glued to their phones is distracting and disrespectful. An image making its rounds on Twitter shows Koffing, a Pokemon that spews poisonous gas, inside the museum near an auditorium where visitors watch short films of Jewish survivors who escaped gas chambers.

Director Hollinger might have to twiddle this thumbs for a bit, as developer Niantic Labs has a number of other issues to clear off its plate. However, it appears the foundation for a system able to strip a location out of the game might be in place. "Currently, we ONLY take reports of PokeStops or Gyms that present immediate physical danger (for example, they are in the middle of a road or on railroad tracks)," according to Niantic.

Conceivably, Niantic could use its built-in reporting tool to make special exceptions for businesses like the Holocaust Museum, where game-playing of any sort should obviously be frowned upon.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

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