‘Pokemon Go’ Tip: Don’t Play at Holocaust Museum, 9/11 Memorial + More Logical Places
Here's the good news about the new, wildly popular Pokemon Go: It's encouraging people all over the world to connect with their cities, been a social benefit to those afflicted with autism and depression and even led a young girl and her grandmother to save a boy who was in danger of becoming sick from dehydration.
Here's the bad news about the new, insanely popular Pokemon Go: People are trying to catch Pidgeys and Dugtrios at New York City's 9/11 memorial site.
Since the game's release on July 6, media outlets big and small have been looking into the phenomenon — and, sometimes more specifically, its implicit risks. Users have sometimes put their own well-being on the line while playing the game, which mixes real life and virtual images. And, on occasion, players have neglected basic decency and trespassing laws in the name of widening their Pokedexes.
True, the whole world has become a welcome hunting ground, but here's a reasonable rule of thumb: You probably shouldn't laugh at a funeral; you probably shouldn't chase down a Zubat at the Holocaust Museum.
Below are some of the strangest places the news world has reported Pokemon Go activity — tell us if any leave you particularly weirded out. If it doesn't feel right to play at a certain place, trust those Ash Ketchum instincts.
TMZ has reported that gamers have taken the phenomenon to the Detroit site of Parks' headstone. Users have even gone to battle during funereal services, something the site adds is happening at additional cemeteries around the country, too.
There are four PokeStops at the site of the 2001 tragedy, Time confirms, including one at a shrine in which the names of the fallen are inscribed. "To make this as a spot in a game, I think that’s wrong,” a 61-year-old native New Yorker named Mickey Kennedy said. “A lot of people died here. It’s a place to reflect, not to play a game."
"Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism," museum communications director Andrew Hollinger told The Washington Post. Most troublingly, the site reports one user has discovered a gaseous Pokemon emitting a smokescreen over the Helena Rubinstein Auditorium, which honors those lost to concentration camp chambers.
A Vancouver barber named Fred told the city's public radio News 1130 that kids routinely rush into his business just to catch Pokemon without seeking any sort of service. "Just today, we had, I’m not kidding you, an unrepentant, comes in here, not for a haircut, not to give us business but because he’s chasing a pidgey. I don’t even know what a pidgey is but he’s chasing a pidgey. It’s embarrassing for him," Fred said. "We’re a business and we like to connect with our community but we’re not a video arcade."
Kotaku reports there is an insane amount of competition among players outside of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the site of one of the game's gyms. And while there have been no reports of foul play yet, we're inclined to remind people that the Secret Service are yards away and probably have more important matters to attend to. Be Poke-polite.
Deputies at Goochland, Virginia's police department have reported multiple instances of young players breaking into places of worship at night, when servers are less overloaded. "These actions are considered trespassing and put the individual and Deputies in a position of unnecessary risk," the department wrote in a Facebook admonition.
We reported the other day that Pokemon have manifested in shrubbery outside of nearby Duvall's police headquarters, giving officers the impression that something dangerous could be going on. "Please remember that these are especially tense times as of the last few days. Do not lurk around the PD at any hour while you are playing Pokemon Go," the department wrote in a release.
There may be no avoiding this one at first pass, but the point is: always be mindful of your surroundings. Phoenix's Fox 10 reports that one hotbed for area Pokemon is a facility that houses 43 sex offenders, and parents are urging each other to caution their children to be careful while playing. "Look at it as you would Halloween and trick or treating. Just make sure that if you have young children that you're the chaperone," one said.
Many New Yorkers have discovered potential catches in subway stations with internet capabilities, but the MTA is urging them to be careful and, you know, not jump into the tracks. "Hey #PokemonGO players, we know you gotta catch 'em all, but stay behind that yellow line when in the subway," the agency tweeted.
...or not, sadly — The Verge has confirmed that though the United States Space Station has smartphones for the purposes of research, they can't function powerfully enough to support the game. Maybe best to leave the stars alone.
See a Collection of Celebs Who Look a Liiiiittle Bit Like Pokemon:
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