Museums and Landmarks Have a Love/Hate Relationship With Pokémon Go
The takeaway for players: Be respectful of your surroundings.
As Pokémon Go sweeps the world, the game is quickly attracting fans — and enemies.
Millions of people are walking around with their eyes glued to their phones, trying to find characters in the augmented reality game that are sometimes in the most unexpected of places. The Holocaust Memorial Museum, in Washington, D.C., was one of the first establishments to make a public appeal for gamers to show respect and not play on the premises.
But for every landmark or museum that is requesting respect, there is another that is excited to take advantage of the unusual attention.
Here are just a few of the places trying to figure out how to handle the brave new world of Pokémon Go.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The space dedicated to remembering those lost in the atrocities of World War II issued a statement on Monday, urging people to stay away if they’re playing the game.
“We feel playing Pokémon Go in a memorial dedicated to the victims of Nazism is inappropriate,” Andrew Hollinger, the museum’s communications director, said in a statement. “We encourage visitors to use their phones to share and engage with museum content while here.”
“Technology can be an important learning tool,” he said, “but this game falls outside of our educational and memorial mission. We are looking into how the museum can be removed from it.”
Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum
Like the Holocaust Museum, the Auschwitz memorial is none too happy about visitors playing a game at a place created to honor the memory of those lost.
Playing at the memorisal is “disrespectful to the memory of the victims of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp on many levels and it is absolutely inappropriate,” museum spokesman Pawel Sawicki told the Associated Press.
Representatives at the 9/11 Memorial have yet to comment, however that hasn't stopped people from commenting on social media about how playing the game at the downtown Manhattan memorial is disrespectful.
The New York City Transit Authority
Officials in the Big Apple are warning people not to get too close to public transportation while looking for characters.
Thomas Jefferson's Monticello is embracing the game, and posted an image of a character on the grounds on Facebook.
Space and Rocket Center
The Alabama based museum is offering a special group admission price of $13 for anyone who presents the Pokémon GO App on their phone during certain dates and times.
The Durham Bulls
The Durham Bulls have turned the craze into a revenue opportunity.
The minor league baseball team in North Carolina invited players to use the field to find new Pokémon (the team is currently away), for an entry fee of $5.
The Lincoln Memorial and Washington’s Monument are all yours for playing Pokémon Go.
“While you're hunting Pokémon, we choose you ... to take a selfie with your faves and post your pic here,” the National Mall and Memorial Parks wrote on their Facebook page. “Remember to be respectful of the memorials and other visitors, but share your Pokémon victories with a #pokeselfie at the #nationalmall!”
Reactions are mixed at restaurants across the country.
Some are complaining the app is bringing in too many non-paying customers and making their establishments crowded. One restaurant in Lexington, Kentucky, even put up a “No Pokémon Go” sign.
But while there are complaints, there is also encouragement. The manager at L’iniozio, a pizzeria in New York City even paid to have 12 Pokémon characters in his establishment. Business was boosted by 75 percent in a couple of days.
The City Of Portland, Oregon
Travel Portland just launched a website, which allows travelers to know where to "catch them all" in northwestern city including PokéStops, gyms, Pioneer Square, Tom McCall Waterfront, and many more.