In what can only be described as one of the most shockingly misjudged moves of the year, Pokemon GO has turned the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C into a Pokestop.
For the unaware, a Pokestop in Pokemon GO is a real world location – often a museum, art gallery, or other notable landmark – that players can visit to receive items like pokeballs and potions.
Understandably, the museum isn’t best pleased that people are showing up to play a game on a site dedicated to remembering one of the greatest atrocities in human memory.
A communications director for the site told the Washington Post:
Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism.
The museum’s director, Andrew Hollinger has confirmed that they have reached out to Pokemon GO developer Niantic Labs to find out if they can be excluded from the game’s map.
As it stands, Niantic has said before that they only remove gyms or Pokestops if they present ‘immediate physical danger’, however you’d hope an exception is made in a case such as this.
There’s one particularly nasty image floating around the internet that shows Koffing, a Pokemon that spits out poison gas, hovering near the theatre dedicated to playing the stories of the Jews who survived gas chambers.
For obvious reasons, I’m not gonna be sharing that image.
While the chances are very high that the picture in question was faked by someone with an awful sense of humour, it still essentially proves the point that a Holocaust museum just isn’t the place for Pokemon GO.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.