Quoted: Objecting to Pokemon Go at the Holocaust Museum

“Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism. We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game.”

Andrew Hollinger, the Holocaust Memorial Museum’s communications director, on Pokemon Go, the new augmented-reality mobile game that has captured the public’s imagination in the past week.

The Washington, D.C. museum is one of the many landmarks with “PokeStops” — places where players can find free in-game items as they hunt for Pokemon, the ’90s-era cartoon craze that has made a comeback in the form of virtual collectible creatures in the age of the smartphone. And what a comeback it is. Julia Prodis Sulek reported for the Mercury News that in the Bay Area, players are taking their virtual treasure hunts to parks, malls, churches and even cemeteries, while players elsewhere around the nation have run across a dead body or been robbed while playing the game.

But back to the new questions about propriety and cellphone use — as if we didn’t already have enough of those. It’s one thing to hunt for Pokemon at Costco, and another to do so at the Hall of Remembrance at the Holocaust Museum.

Hollinger told the Washington Post that although the museum usually encourages the use of technology and social media, “this game falls very much outside that.”

Niantic Labs, the San Francisco-based Google spinoff that created the game, has not yet responded to SiliconBeat’s request for comment about whether it will honor the museum’s request.

Photo: A Pokemon Go player battles the serpent-like creature, Arbok, while walking past the Quetzalcoatl statue in Plaza de Cesar Chavez in San Jose, Calif., July 11, 2016. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

 

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