The entire Pokémon GO experience is predicated on going out and exploring the world while playing. However, it is clearly not appropriate to play Pokémon GO literally anywhere you go, especially if you go to the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Some visitors, however, decided to play the game there anyway.
“Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism,” Andrew Hollinger, the museum’s communications director, told The Washington Post. It doesn’t help that there are three PokéStops within the museum. “We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game,” Hollinger said.
When asked about playing Pokémon GO in the Holocaust Museum, 37-year-old visitor Nancy explained, “It’s not like we came here to play, but gotta catch ‘em all.”
Also, a truly awful image has circulated in relation to Pokémon appearing in the museum: one visitor shared an in-game image of having found a Koffing—a Pokémon that spews poison gas—inside the Holocaust Museum. Though, per WaPo, the image may be a hoax, Hollinger says that the museum is concerned about potential Koffing appearances, for obvious reasons.
PokéStops were all imported from Pokémon GO developer Niantic’s previous game, Ingress, which also focused on exploring the real world while playing the game. In an interview with Game Informer, Niantic CEO John Hanke said, “From time to time we get a request from a business or an institution to not be a portal or a PokéStop. We got a few of those during the beta. We honor that if that request is made.”
The Holocaust Museum is not the place to play videogames. We imagine the museum will get in touch with Niantic and have the building removed from Pokémon GO before long.