Pokemon Go

It seems as if no matter where you go people are playing Pokemon Go. Well, one place where it seems to have garnered a bit of negative attention is the Holocaust Museum. Some people tend to think that playing Pokemon Go in certain places should be completely off limits.

The Washington Post is reporting that the communications director at the Holocaust Museum in District Columbia is not pleased with people coming in and occasionally catching Pokemon using Pokemon Go.

When they interviewed the communications director, Andrew Hollinger, he explained to the Washington Post that they're trying to get the museum removed from the app...

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.

It's an interesting stance to take considering that Pokemon Go doesn't exercise discrimination when it comes to putting PokeStops and Pokemon in various places. It uses procedural geolocation algorithms to place the Pokemon and the PokeStops at specific places on the map.

According to the Washington Post, the Holocaust Museum has two PokeStops located within it, likely due to its size and its possible labeling on Google Maps as a tourist location. Niantic generally designed Pokemon Go to blanket certain spots with certain interactive elements, so gas stations or stores or restaurants might be PokeStops, where-as some clothing spots or cafes might end up being Pokemon gyms.

They don't specifically label each location the world around, otherwise the game would have never left development. This is the first time that a major public institution would be requesting to be removed from Pokemon Go, and it would be interesting to see if that's even possible. Technically they could blanket that spot on the map to exclude from any sort of activity, but then what happens when other companies from other cities, counties, regions, states, and countries start requesting the same thing?

Niantic would end up in a hassle of trying to completely redesign Pokemon Go based on the sensibilities of certain institutions who wouldn't want to be included, and given how many of them there are across the world, the game's updates would include mostly location exclusions. I'm sure that the Holocaust Museum wouldn't be the only place that would request exclusion, what about funeral homes? Funeral services? Morgues? Hospices? Hospitals? What about churches? How about Mosques? Vigils? Police stations?

There's definitely a list of places where people can easily make a justification where playing Pokemon Go there would be inappropriate. In this particular case the Washington Post tries to make an argument that a particular Pokemon that shoots off gasses was also spotted in the museum, but they don't have any actual proof of that. The communications director expressed concerned about a Pokemon appearing within the museum that uses gas attacks.

If Niantic does decide to start excluding Pokemon from specific locations or removing the app's accessibility from certain spots, it definitely opens the door for other companies, institutions and outlets to request the same. It would definitely change the scope of the app if certain locations were prohibited from being accessed by Pokemon Go.

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