The popularity of the Pokemon Go App has sparked several news articles related to the Holocaust and memorial sites in general. One of the first museums to make a clear statement demanding visitors to stop playing Pokemon Go was United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, (USHMM) This stand made several news agency’s such as BBC write on the story. The Auschwitz’s memorial has also followed suit and others have already done so and more will probably follow. Clearly, it seems that we have reached a limit to what is acceptable behaviour at memorial sites and museums of the Holocaust, but also memorials in general. There seems to be very few actions which can be taken against the usage of the game by the memorial sites other than appealing to peoples’ moral.
The success of Pokemon Go will most likely spark a wave of layered games where reality and graphics are mixed. I believe we in the will see special areas which are blocked for such games.
The many news stories on the game and its users might also evolve into a more general debate of mobile phone usage. Is it for example o.k. to play other phone games at memorial sites and which ones? Would it be inappropriate to send text messages, chat or live stream? How should the museums react – should they block the internet or supply wi-fi while at the same time blocking a host of websites? Should it instead be the developers who should be held responsible?
I don’t have the answers, but it seems we have a reached a point where we need to discuss these issues. What do you think?