United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: It is extremely inappropriate to "catch Pokémon" in our building
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) has called on fans of the smartphone game "Pokémon Go" to stop using their building for this new form of entertainment. The institution said it is "extremely inappropriate" for players to virtually "hunt" the virtual pokémon figures in virtual representations of a place dedicated to commemorating millions of Second World War murder victims.
"Pokémon Go" has been rising in popularity in recent days and consists of seeking out virtual pokémon figures in actual places with the aid of a mobile phone application. Some of the cartoon creatures have been "captured" at the USHMM building in Washington, D.C., leading the management to issue their unusual request.
"We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game," USHMM spokesperson Andy Hollinger said. While using mobile telephones is permitted at the memorial, their use for playing "Pokémon Go", according to Hollinger, "falls very much outside" the museum's mission to commemorate Holocaust victims and educate the public about them.
The Washington Post reports that someone may have already created an online hoax about the game. An image reported as probably originating from a now-deleted post on a photo-sharing site called "imgur" showed a Pokémon called "Koffing" emitting poisonous gas near a sign for the Helena Rubinstein Auditorium in the museum, which is where filmed testimonials by Jewish survivors about the gas chambers are shown to visitors.
The reporter for the Washington Post said that when he visited the museum Monday and played the game there, that particular figure did not show up in that location, but Hollinger told the paper he is concerned about its potential appearance. Arlington National Cemetery has also published a similar call asking that its grounds not be used for the game.
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