The release of Pokemon GO last month ushered in the biggest mobile app craze the world has ever seen. In just a few weeks, the addictive app broke all sorts of mobile download records while simultaneously turning players into quasi-zombies constantly on the hunt for virtual monsters.
In turn, we’ve seen a steady stream of stories regarding Pokemon GO players congregating in all sorts of places at all times of the night. Sometimes, these stories are lighthearted and fun, like the time when a swarm of players in New York amassed in Central Park and inadvertently created a stampede that was seemingly lifted from an episode of The Walking Dead. But more often than not, the addictive nature of Pokemon GO created an environment wherein players were increasingly showing up at somber locations like the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC and a memorial for victims of the Hiroshima bombing in Japan.
Naturally, this created no shortage of frustration amongst museum operators and visitors. With signs warning Pokemon GO players to stay away proving unsuccessful, museum officials in Japan asked Pokemon GO developer Niantic to update the game as to ensure that Pokemon characters, lures and Pokestops wouldn’t show up on the premises. A few days ago, Niantic obliged.
The AP reports:
The city had asked the developer of the popular “Pokemon Go” smartphone game to remove the creatures and sites that appeared in the park by last weekend, when a solemn annual ceremony was held to mark the anniversary of the atomic bombing that killed 140,000 people in the final days of World War II.
The “Pokestops” and gyms, and the clumps of players that they attract, were gone by last Thursday, but the monsters that gamers try to catch were still popping up. The city sent an email inquiry to game developer Niantic, and got a response at 1:56 a.m. Saturday, just six hours before the start of the ceremony.
“We were so relieved,” city official Tatsuya Sumida said. “We were worried if those ‘Pokemon’ were really going to go away in time.”
The report further adds that all Pokemon related items have also been removed from the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.