Maybe You Shouldn't Catch Pokémon At Auschwitz
As the world’s first popularized augmented reality (AR) game, Pokémon Go has pushed gaming into the outside world, giving agoraphobes (and Justin Bieber) a reason to venture into the world. The prospect of “catching” wild Pokémon has guided PokéMasters to places often unexplored (like where someone would find a dead body) and to national landmarks that are regularly overlooked by townsfolk.
One of the most bizarre occurrences coming from the Pokémon Go phenomenon is where exactly Pokémon are freely popping up. Hotspot destinations are called PokéStops, and are actively inhabited by crazed amounts of Pokémon that beg to be claimed as your own. Some of these spots include nightclubs and churches, resulting in screamingly funny screenshots. Others like memorial sites for the thousands of lives loss at the hands of repressive regimes—eh, not so much.
Complied below are some of the awfully inappropriate destinations you should try to aptly avoid when cruising for that rare Squirtle or Charizard.
The September 11th Memorial
Nothing screams out “Never Forget” like scoring a Goldeen swimming at the twin memorial pools outside the 9/11 Memorial grounds. There are four PokéStops at the newly resurrected Freedom Towers, which memorialize the nearly 3,000 lives that were lost in the deadly terrorist attack. Maybe… don’t play an iPhone game amongst grieving people?
The public has expressed anger over the gamers flocking to the site to catch ‘em all instead of honor those who perished over a decade ago. There’s just certain prices you must pay if you truly wish to become a PokéMaster.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
This one seems like a no-brainer. But, since Pokémon Go’s launch last week, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has been flooded with individuals (diverse in age) hoping to level up and battle other Pokémon within the museum’s sanctified quarters.
SOMEONE FOUND KOFFING IN THE HOLOCAUST MUSEUM IM DEAD pic.twitter.com/2v35SToUua
— Quincy/Quinn/Quince (@QPastura) July 11, 2016
— Sjors Moolenaar (@sjorsmoolenaar) July 12, 2016
After numerous complaints filed by visitors reflecting on a genocide that killed millions of Jewish people, the museum’s Communications Director Andrew Hollinger released the following statement: “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.”
Arlington National Cemetery
C’mon, there’s nothing more tempting than capturing mystic Japanese animated creatures than on the graves of fallen soldiers. (Just kidding!) Those frequenting the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia this past week have been getting the stank eye for their rather disrespectful gaming. The somber site has been the burial places for thousands of U.S. soldiers since the American Civil War, and the cemetery officials have also spoken out stating, “we require the highest level of decorum from our guests and visitors” when “on these hallowed grounds.” Aware that many of those enamored in Pokémania may not take not of their official statement, the national landmark sight took to its Twitter account to reiterate its expectations of wannabe PokéMasters.
We do not consider playing "Pokemon Go" to be appropriate decorum on the grounds of ANC. We ask all visitors to refrain from such activity.
— Arlington Cemetery (@ArlingtonNatl) July 12, 2016
From the multitude of screenshots circulating the web, it appears Pokémon are making themselves all too comfy at World War II’s largest concentration camp. A now-infamous screenshot shows a measly Rattata about to be captured by a gamer before one of the monuments at Auschwitz.
Officials have since urged gamers to hold off on playing the game (and subsequently wasting away their data). This seems… obvious.
Stay tuned to Milk for more on the Pokémon resurgence.
Images via. NPR and Complex