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Historic Sites Push for the Removal of ‘Pokémon Go’

Pokémon Go removed game play from the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., last week, at the museum’s request, the Associated Press reports. Other historic sites have asked to be removed from the game’s locations, including D.C.’s Arlington National Cemetery and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan.

Critics allege that by featuring the game in these sites, Pokémon Go knowinglydistracts from the somber nature of these spaces. Natalie Shure wrote for Pacific Standard about how Pokémon Go conflicts with the cultural services these centers of “dark tourism” provide:

Pokémon Go has interrupted the contemplative sadness that memorials generate with a tacky reminder that visitors are already immersing themselves in artificial spaces. We visit memorials to wrap our heads around what it means for whole lives to be casualties at the hands of history, and here comes some teen battling a Bulbasaur to remind us of the silly things we pass our time with in the contemporary world.

Perhaps the Holocaust Museum ban will lead other sites—such as cemeteries, delivery rooms, or Beyonce concerts—to crack down on the hugely popular augmented reality game. Niantic, the game’s parent company, has created an online form for removal and other requests.