Holocaust Museum: Stop playing Pokémon Go here

Holocaust Museum: Stop playing Pokémon Go here
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The U.S. Holocaust Museum is telling visitors to stop playing the wildly popular Pokémon Go game, according to a new report.

The museum is also trying to get itself removed from the mobile game, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

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

The Post said the museum is one of many cultural landmarks labeled as a “PokéStop” where players can score free in-game items. The Holocaust Museum is tagged with three separate PokéStop locations on its premises.

The designation is distracting visitors from the museum’s focus, the newspaper added, which is Nazi Germany’s slaughter of about 6 million Jews.

Hollinger said the Holocaust Museum normally encourages patrons to use social media and related technology to share their experiences.

“But this game falls very much outside of that,” he said, adding the game seems disrespectful in the facility.

The game encourages players to use their smartphones for a scavenger hunt aimed at catching creatures called Pokémon. The app uses the camera and GPS system on players’ phones to highlight potential targets, battle gyms and PokéStops in the real world.

Capitol Hill is a hotbed for players due to the important and iconic locations there.

The Post said the Holocaust Museum, however, is uncomfortable with how the augmented reality game is overshadowing its message.

Reporter Andrea Peterson, for example, said players late Monday tagged the museum’s marker with a “lure beacon” aimed at attracting wild Pokémon. The in-game item attracted a swarm of creatures including rodent-like Rattatas and two-headed birds called Doduos.

The Post said the player behind the lure identified himself as Dustin but declined to give his last name for privacy reasons. Dustin, a 30-year-old visitor from North Carolina, said he hoped to catch a crustacean-like Krabby while waiting in the museum’s lobby for a scheduled tour.

“It’s not like we came here to play,” Angie, a 37-year-old friend of Dustin’s who also declined a last name, told the newspaper. "But gotta catch ‘em all."