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A US holocaust museum is asking Pokémon Go players to keep away

The museum is trying to remove itself from the game as people visit it to catch Pokémon.

Image: AP Photo/Alan Diaz

A HOLOCAUST MUSEUM in the US is asking players of Pokémon Go to stop trying to catch monsters within its walls, calling it “extremely inappropriate”.

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC is currently looking to remove itself from the game as a Pokéstop, an area of interest for players where they get experience points and in-game items.

The game, which requires players to walk around and catch monsters in the real world, has become an instant hit since it was released last week. The game uses GPS and augmented reality so you can see the characters you’re trying to catch in the real world.

It has only been made available in the US, Australia and New Zealand but that hasn’t stopped people from other countries finding other ways to download it.

Its success, however, has brought with it some unforeseen issues like players trespassing in places like hospitals or, in one case, abandoning their vehicle to catch a Pokémon.

“Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism,” the museum’s communications director, Andrew Hollinger, told The Washington Post.

We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game.

While some places are trying to remove themselves from the game, others are using it to their advantage. Some restaurants in the US are using the game as a way to drum up business.

An Atlanta café owned by digital ad agency Huge turned out to be roughly 30 feet away from two prominent Pokéstops. So it spent about $40 (€36) in real money to add digital “lures” to the stops, refreshing them every 30 minutes. The lures increase the chance that rare Pokémon will turn up nearby – drawing players in turn.

“Our corner was essentially lit up all day long,” says Huge executive creative director Derek Fridman.

In San Francisco, enthusiastic players working for Kawika’s Ocean Beach Deli likewise set out lures and branded the store as a “charging station” for drained phones. (The game is notoriously hard on batteries).

Given that the shop is bracketed by Pokéstops on one side and a Gym (where players fight against each other) on the other, players “have no choice but to walk past us,” says owner David Nottage III. “So we put up some signs.” The deli plans additional Pokémon-related activities in the future.

Additional reporting from AP

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Quinton O'Reilly

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