July 13, 2016

"The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has asked people not to play Pokemon Go on their phones during their visit."

"A spokesman for the museum in Washington said that playing the game inside a memorial to victims of Nazism was 'extremely inappropriate.' The Arlington National Cemetery, just three miles away from the museum, has also warned off Pokemon players."
Like many other landmarks, both the museum in Washington and the military cemetery in Virginia are places where players can come across Pokemon creatures.

They are both reportedly also Pokestops, where players can collect virtual items like snacks and medicine for Pokemon, but officials at the museum are trying to get it removed from the game.
There should be a way for places to get themselves removed from the game.
There has been no response yet from game developers Niantic Labs on whether it could stop Pokemon creatures from appearing inside the Holocaust Museum.
But I'm not convinced that it is best for these sacred/somber places to remove themselves. They should want to lure or welcome young people and those who otherwise steer clear of these imposing and (to many) terribly depressing places. Perhaps a way could be found to teach the game-users to recognize the need, in certain places, to deploy their preferred means of encountering the world in a discreet and respectful manner. I haven't observed how players act in these real places, but surely some code of behavior could emerge. Keep voices quiet. Don't assemble in groups. Protect others around you from noticing that you are here for the game.

Etiquette is important! This game presents an opportunity to develop some awareness of etiquette and to feel motivated to practice it. Isn't that a better approach than exclusion of the people you don't like? Now, the museum isn't barring anyone from the museum. It's only barring the use of the game in the place, but this does exclude the group — possibly a huge group — who want to go to the museum because of the game.

93 comments:

rhhardin said...

The decorum is an act itself. The game players are the serious ones.

damikesc said...

Don't be dicks in there of course, but ANYTHING that draws people into a location is not always a bad thing. With fewer and fewer survivors left (but more and more deniers on campuses), we need to keep this truth alive in face of an amazing attempt to deny reality. If this game can get families in there to possibly view a needed, but unsettling, memorial --- I don't think it's a negative.

Freder Frederson said...

Give me a freaking break. It is just rude to use your phone, let alone play a game, in either of these places. Arlington has had continual problems with people using its grounds for recreation. You don't jog in Arlington and you don't play video games.

Do you have no sense of decorum?

Ann Althouse said...

"Do you have no sense of decorum?"

Do you have no sense of imagination about alternative ways of achieving decorum?

By the way, you may be exhibiting cultural bias in your zero tolerance for play within an encounter with death. Check your privilege.

MadisonMan said...

Niantic Labs for the win. They have received about $10bn in free publicity this week.

MadisonMan said...

(and it's only Wednesday!)

Mary Beth said...

Rude people probably visited there before, their rudeness just manifested in a different way. Now they're noticing the rude players but there's probably a lot more quiet ones going unnoticed. Maybe some of those people wouldn't have been tempted to go otherwise and now they have an opportunity to learn something. (Game play doesn't require constant activity. There's lots of time to look around.)

Bob Ellison said...

Imagine being the product manager for this game. Wouldn't you ask a few questions before release?

_ What about people wandering into street traffic?

_ How will sacred sites feel about this?

_ Isn't this a lot like texting while driving?

_ Rip currents on beaches?

_ How do we handle lightning storms?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I doubt very much that you will get Pokemon Go players to learn any etiquette or social skills.

I could see the game being modified for certain locations to encourage people to go there, but not actively play the game while there. For example, the game could be set up such that there is no active gameplay within the museum, but if you have the game on, and you spend X amount of time/walk Y number of steps within the museum, then after you leave you get some significant in-game reward.

damikesc said...

Freder, is it rude to demand to use a restroom that is in variance from your genetc sex?

Bob Ellison said...

_ Is there a "no go" feature on the server? If so, won't that offend the people in those neighborhoods? If not, will that lack create lawsuits?

Paddy O said...

How would you feel about students doing this while you were teaching a class?

Or non-students finding pokemon in your classroom while you were teaching?

David Begley said...

Paddy O

That's my question. Can students play Pokemon Go in the UW Law Sdhool building? On campus? In Camp Randall Stadium?

David said...

"There has been no response yet from game developers Niantic Labs on whether it could stop Pokemon creatures from appearing inside the Holocaust Museum."

It's quite interesting. The Pokemon creatures appear only to the Pokemon players. It that sense they are "appearing inside the Holocaust museum." When virtual reality and traditional physical reality occupy the same space things get confusing.

Curious George said...

"Perhaps a way could be found to teach the game-users to recognize the need, in certain places, to deploy their preferred means of encountering the world in a discreet and respectful manner. I haven't observed how players act in these real places, but surely some code of behavior could emerge. Keep voices quiet. Don't assemble in groups. Protect others around you from noticing that you are here for the game."

Yeah. And maybe they could ride unicorns!

Johnathan Birks said...

It may be disrespectful, but if I had a museum I'd probably be for anything that attracted kids. They might learn something by accident.

David said...

In other news, Pokemon has hit the jackpot with this concept.

David said...

I have too many realities going on already. One more I do not need.

Roughcoat said...

I am thinking of the ossuary at the Verdun battlefield, where the bones of the fallen are kept. When I first visited that place many years ago the guards were all veterans of the battle. When one of the visitors spoke above a mere whisper, never mind in a normal voice, that person would be approached by one those ancient gentlemen, who would hurry over and admonish him thus, and firmly: "Silence, s'il vous plaît! Silence!"

Pronounced, of course: "See-lawnce," accent on the latter.

Those ancient gentlemen are all gone now.

Laslo Spatula said...

The game players all have heard there's six million points there somewhere.

I am Laslo.

Roughcoat said...

The guards at the Vatican also shush noisy visitors.

damikesc said...

David, Pokémon didn't need this app to hit a jackpot. They are basically a printing press for money for about 20 years now.

MadisonMan said...

Arlington has had continual problems with people using its grounds for recreation. You don't jog in Arlington and you don't play video games.

Why don't you jog in Arlington? (I mean, other than the fact it's too hot and humid this time of year).

People jog through the cemeteries near my house all the time, cemeteries that are full of Veterans and just normal dead people.

Larry J said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Do you have no sense of decorum?"

Do you have no sense of imagination about alternative ways of achieving decorum?

By the way, you may be exhibiting cultural bias in your zero tolerance for play within an encounter with death. Check your privilege.


That is the most disgusting thing I've ever read on this site, and that's saying a lot.

David said...

damikesc said...
David, Pokémon didn't need this app to hit a jackpot. They are basically a printing press for money for about 20 years now.

I should have said "another jackpot." But they do have to keep coming up with good ideas. This one is especially good. Not that I would play, but I'm not in their target group.

Steve Uhr said...

"Protect others around you from noticing that you are here for the game"

Not possible. They would not be more obvious if they were naked.

Freder Frederson said...

Why don't you jog in Arlington? (I mean, other than the fact it's too hot and humid this time of year).

Because, it is the rule.

Do you have no sense of imagination about alternative ways of achieving decorum?

This statement borders on oxymoron. Decorum is defined by tradition.

By the way, you may be exhibiting cultural bias in your zero tolerance for play within an encounter with death. Check your privilege.

I really have no idea what this is supposed to mean. Can you please supply some examples of "play within an encounter with death". I must be very privileged because I have never heard of such a thing.

bagoh20 said...

We need to get people in there who would not otherwise go, so let's put in a hotdog stand and maybe a strip club, and some beer. Getting the maximum number of people in there is the main point of the place isn't it? Check your privilege.

MisterBuddwing said...

I've seen people wading in the pool of the World War II Memorial, I've seen kids racing around the inside of the Lincoln Memorial. Few things shock me anymore, but the sight of someone using a smartphone - for any reason - in a setting like this gives me pause.

Also giving me pause: Pokemon Go has struck at Auschwitz:

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/auschwitz-memorial-playing-pokemon-allowed-40539951

(Yes, I know, there's a difference between a memorial and a site where people actually were murdered, but still... )

bagoh20 said...

Ignorance is Bliss had a great suggestion: make exploration and learning about the place part of the game. Otherwise, why would you want people to come in to do something that has nothing to do with the place. They can do that anywhere else. The real promise of this technology would be to have an app that puts the whole world and it's history on a self-guided tour.

TwilightofLiberty.com said...

Not exactly apples to apples, but I wish someone of influence would say something about not treating the WWII Memorial as a foot bath. Yes, it gets hot in Washington - that's why there are 500 people walking around the Mall with cold water for sale.

Karen of Texas said...

Maybe it's just me, but I think there are places where one should conduct themselves with restraint. It's about respect. Why on earth is this even something that needs to be addressed?

You can bet if this had been possible when I was younger and I used my phone to 'catch' pokemon in such a place my mom or dad would have made sure I remembered to never be that disrespectful again. The same goes for my kids now.

Actions, consequences, responsibility, accountability - respect for others - these have become such foreign concepts. No wonder this country is in the shape it's in.

I wonder what would happen if people wandered in to a church service, a Catholic Mass, to collect pokemon? It's absolute rubbish that people are so incapable of evaluating what behavior should be appropriate. Sad. Just sad.

Laslo Spatula said...

This is only offensive if you really believe there was a Holocaust.

I am Laslo.

Freder Frederson said...

This is only offensive if you really believe there was a Holocaust.

I usually skip Laslo's comments, but this is precious.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

The more-serious-than-you pose suffers another setback.

Points for seriousness needs a game.

rhhardin said...

Veterans are the worst.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roughcoat said...

Decorum:

"Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground."

-- Exodus 3:5

n.n said...

Some people mourn the dead. Some people celebrate the dead. Others yet play with, on, next to the dead. We each have our conception of life, the universe, and everything.

I wonder if the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood would be equally welcoming to visitors. Ostensibly not for profit yet very lucrative businesses profiting from a culture of death in private sanctuaries.

Steve Uhr said...

I caught two last night from our couch. Can I bring a trespass action against Nintendo ?

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I know some older guy who was proud to tell me that he had recently gone to some battlefield/cemetery/memorial in France and, with all respect and reverence, ceremoniously held a bottle of beer out at arm's length, then turned it upside down to pour on the ground for the fallen. Maybe the soldiers were Irish. Maybe the beer was Guinness.

I like the guy, but that struck me as kind of weird.

Maybe he saw it in some movie.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Have people stopped doing that slow clap thing?

I hope so.

MadisonMan said...

I've seen people wading in the pool of the World War II Memorial

Bad design. If there is open water in a Hot City....

A similar bad design for a Memorial is this one on the Capitol Square in Madison.

Let's make a Memorial that's the perfect height for sitting in a place that experiences a whole lot of foot traffic, and then let's not expect people to sit on it.

@Freder, rules are made so Bureaucrats don't have to deal with questions, but thanks for answering mine (I think the idea of limiting what the public can do in a Park is foolish).

Laslo Spatula said...

Freder Frederson said...
"I usually skip Laslo's comments, but this is precious."

Akin to "I'm not a Trump supporter, but..." as a place-setter.

The Laslo Preference Cascade is coming.

I am Laslo.

Fernandinande said...

"Playing games such as Pokemon Go on these hallowed grounds would not be deemed appropriate," cemetery officials said in a statement.

Ghosts don't like Pokemon because the ground is sour.

Sebastian said...

Etiquette? What etiquette? President I-me-I exploits memorial ceremony for political purposes. DoJ goes after NC for legalizing old-timey restroom etiquette. Some Americans still insist, so I don't blame you for the it's-important fuddy-duddyism, but it's dead.

Fernandinande said...

Eric the Fruit Bat said...
Maybe the soldiers were Irish. Maybe the beer was Guinness.


Not Irish; the Irish would strain it through their kidneys first.

Roughcoat said...

I usually skip Laslo's comments, but this is precious.

"Dear Penthouse, I never thought this would happen to me, but ..."

Karen of Texas said...

I wonder what would happen if a slew of pokemon hunters descended on a BLM March and completely ignored march protocol by wandering erratically and aimlessly through the crowd, oblivious to and dismissive of the seriousness of what the demonstrators were protesting/trying to shine a light on?

Curious George said...

"MadisonMan said...
Arlington has had continual problems with people using its grounds for recreation. You don't jog in Arlington and you don't play video games.

Why don't you jog in Arlington? (I mean, other than the fact it's too hot and humid this time of year).

People jog through the cemeteries near my house all the time, cemeteries that are full of Veterans and just normal dead people."

Are you really so dense that you can't see the difference between Arlington National Cememtary and a cemetary?

mockturtle said...

This game presents an opportunity to develop some awareness of etiquette and to feel motivated to practice it.

Seriously, Ann?????

Paddy O said...

"make exploration and learning about the place part of the game."

If you play Pokemon Go in the Holocaust museum, at a certain random point you will permanently lose all the pokemon you have ever caught and the game will brick your smart phone.

traditionalguy said...

Generational War is always won by the young. But we older guys do not all go gently into that good night.

The history of WWII is now pretty much out in the open from good writers who were at last allowed to research materials when they became more than 50 years old.

Spinning the mighty events of WWII history just to meet cheap Marxist Revolutionary goals is the heart of darkness. That disrespect has spawned evils such as Hillary Rodham.

Pokemon Games inserting itself into commemerations of WWII history is only proof of insanity and ignorance in your face.

Eddie said...

The Pokemon Go sites are taken from the game Ingress. I'm sure Ingress players have been playing at the Holocaust Museum for years without anyone knowing. Typically, it is next to impossible to get a site removed by Niantic, because the teams have strategic reasons for having sites removed. Nonetheless, an institution as prominent as the Holocaust Museum might be able to pull it off. Or maybe just move the sites to the public space outside the museum.

Eddie said...

Ingress itself was built from an app called Field Trip, which allowed people to record that they had visited sites of interest by being physically present at those sites. It turns out people are motivated by keeping score! I think this point is consistent with Ann's argument that there are creative ways to get people interested in doing things that are good for them. I know as an Ingress player that I have visited a lot of small towns that I would not have otherwise in order to capture "unique" sites.

rhhardin said...

Zis is Kaos. Ve do not shush here.

Laslo Spatula said...

Renfro Jeffries. Nazi And Proud Of It!

I just have to shake my head sometimes: if Hitler would've known all the criticism he would get, he really SHOULD have killed all those Jews, just on Principle...

Let's face it: if Hitler was actually able to pull off something on the scale of the "Holocaust" there is no way he could've lost the War. The Victors get to write the History, though, and the Jews have their fingerprints all over those pages...

How many American Lives were lost for a European War that the Jews instigated? And notice how there are Jews everywhere, now? Who Hid the six-million Jews? THAT is what we should be asking when we talk about the "Holocast"...

I know, I know: People are going to call me anti-Semantic, but the Truth is the Truth, no matter what the Cosmopolitans say...

Don't get me wrong: I'd be just fine if we shipped the Cosmopolitans to, say, Africa or something: that seems Fair. But we have to Free America from the Media-Government-Global Complex before we are strangled by their Rules...

The Cattle Cars are coming: THIS is why the Left loves High-Speed Trains...

I'm Renfro Jeffries, Nazi And Proud Of It!

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

My ex-girlfriend had so many shoes I thought she'd robbed the holocaust museum. - some stand-up act

A museum attitude is joke material.

mccullough said...

The RNC and DNC conventions will be filled with Pokemon players on their phones. Trump should give his acceptance speech in n a Pokemon costume

Nonapod said...

As laughable as it may seem, the insane success of Pokemon Go will present all sorts of new, unexpected results. One possibility that will almost certainly happen is legislation on mobile AR games that make use real word landmarks. I predict that there will be stipulations and legal ramifications if game devs fail to take into account the wishes of curators and owners of public locations like bars, museums, churches, movie theaters, bus stations ect. I say this because historically the one thing that you can always count on is more legislation.

rhhardin said...

There are reports that Hitler had deformed genitals. I knew there was something strange about the guy. - Klavan (approx quote)

All these are battles against the serious. It's relief for the oppressed.

Seriousness is self-enterntainment, a subgenre of the frivolous, not its opposite.

Archeology of the Frivolous

Michael K said...

I scrolled through the comments and saw no mention of the malware associated with this game.

Apparently it is not written by Nintendo but it is out there.

Malware writers were very quick to take advantage of this and a malware infested clone of the game were found floating around the internet. This infected version of the game can do anything from stealing SMS messages, call logs, contact lists, browser history, geolocation, and installed apps to executing commands remotely to take pictures, record video, record calls, or send an SMS message.

Fernandinande said...

Even more worser than Pokemon -
Up to 22 children suffer 'demonic possession' after playing Charlie Charlie.

CStanley said...

The idea of maximizing the number of visitors to such a place, without regard to whether or not they have any interest or intent of learning about the Holocaust, strikes me as very similar to the idea that we ought to maximize voter registration and turnout.

CStanley said...

n.n. wrote:
Some people mourn the dead. Some people celebrate the dead. Others yet play with, on, next to the dead. We each have our conception of life, the universe, and everything.

I wonder if the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood would be equally welcoming to visitors. Ostensibly not for profit yet very lucrative businesses profiting from a culture of death in private sanctuaries.


I wonder if they need to work on a "less crunchy" method of catching the unborn Pokemons.

Roughcoat said...

rhhardin referencing Derrida and n.n. referencing (as usual) himself.

If this isn't hell, you can see it from here.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Michael K: not just malware. Apparently, Niantic set up the game installer to require full-rights access to your Google account. This means your contacts DB, GPS history, search history, gmail (I think) and other things.
Niantic has responded to criticism of this by saying "Oops. I guess we should fix that. Eventually."
As a retired real-time & embedded systems SW engineer, I am once again appalled at the sloppy and dangerous SW crap that the public is willing to accept.

Real American said...

Not gonna learn much about the Holocaust when you're staring at your phone like a zombie.

MadisonMan said...

Are you really so dense that you can't see the difference between Arlington National Cememtary and a cemetary?

Is there a difference between the amount of dead in each body that requires a different set of standards? Oh yeah, wait, one is a Federal Facility, so of course the Federals in charge have to make rules.

(Overheard just now: It's National French Fry Day! I guess Freedom Fry never stuck.)

mockturtle said...

Overheard just now: It's National French Fry Day! I guess Freedom Fry never stuck.

Can't we just call them 'fries'?

Uncle Wick said...

"Pokemon de los Muertos" Now it's acceptable.

mikee said...

"There should be a way for places to get themselves removed from the game."

I'm sure that using the business model of YELP.COM, wherein one has to buy access to YELP in order to remove false and damaging items from the website, might suffice.

Smilin' Jack said...

"Do you have no sense of decorum?"

Do you have no sense of imagination about alternative ways of achieving decorum? By the way, you may be exhibiting cultural bias in your zero tolerance for play within an encounter with death. Check your privilege.


I imagined this:

"Well, you know how hot it's been. - Yeah. Nights, they aren't any better...He says..."Hey, little girl, you know what the coolest spot in town is? And I said "No, Sam. I guess I don't." And he said..." The cemetery. That's where." "Know why?" "Cos they got all of them big, cool tombstones." "Ever stretch out on a tombstone, Delores?" "Feel all that nice, cool marble all along your body?
--"In the Heat of the Night"

How's my privilege?

rhhardin said...

You can read Derrida for pleasure, but you have to be interested in the puzzle of language.

Smilin' Jack said...

It may be disrespectful, but if I had a museum I'd probably be for anything that attracted kids. They might learn something by accident.

Yeah. They'll learn that Pokemon monsters killed the Jews.

Birches said...

Why doesn't the museum just ask people not to use their phones? If you are listening to the tour on your phone you shouldn't be swiping at anything anyway. Set standards and expect people to follow them. Why is pokemon go worse than fb or texting?

Birches said...

Believe it or not, but I regularly enter holy places where people don't have phones out.


The cemetery is a cultural issue. My family and the other Latino families I've seen treat cemeteries like a big family picnic. Other people, not so much.

William said...

The Holocaust Museum should count their blessings. They have not yet been targeted for a BLM protest.......It's just a matter of time. When you stop to think about it, the true heirs of Anne Frank are Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. The Holocaust Museum should be directing a certain portion of their income to funding scholarships in the names of these two martyrs. There should be an Anne Frank/Michael Brown fellowship at every Ivy League university in America. Such scholarships and fellowships would do much to heal the racial wounds of America, but they won't just happen unless and until the BLM protesters gather at the Holocaust Museum and make it their target.

Roughcoat said...

You can read Derrida for pleasure, but you have to be interested in the puzzle of language.

My professional writing (and research pursuant thereto) is to a large degree concerned with ancient Indo-European languages and the origins of Indo-European peoples. Which fact should indicate that I am indeed very interested in the puzzle of language.

I am not interested in Derrida and I do not find anything he's written in any way pleasurable to read. I have read his works only because I had to. He's a fraud. He gives bullshit a bad name.

rhhardin said...

You can read Derrida for pleasure, but you have to be interested in the puzzle of language.

My professional writing (and research pursuant thereto) is to a large degree concerned with ancient Indo-European languages and the origins of Indo-European peoples. Which fact should indicate that I am indeed very interested in the puzzle of language.


The puzzle is a computer programmer's puzzle. How does it work.

Various thinkers have theories. Derrida is a virtuouso reader of the thinkers.

For a first Derrida, I recommend _Spurs_ but for God's sake skip the introduction by somebody else.

Michael K said...

"ancient Indo-European languages and the origins of Indo-European peoples."

I'm reading (slowly) "In Search of the Indo_Europeans" and "The Horse, the Wheel and Language."

"The 10,000 Year Explosion" got me started.

rhhardin said...

I count over 50 Derrida volumes on the shelf. No course-work or school was involved.

Althouse might like Memoirs of the Blind, owing to its being about self-portraits. Probably to expensive to buy today but perhaps in university libraries.

Smilin' Jack said...

You can read Derrida for pleasure, but you have to be interested in the puzzle of language

Hahaha no. If you're interested in the puzzle of language read Roger Brown's "Words and Things: An Introduction to Language" and Steven Pinker's earlier books.

Derrida's books are only good for when you run out of PrestoLogs.

Roughcoat said...

I'm reading (slowly) "In Search of the Indo_Europeans" and "The Horse, the Wheel and Language."

Beware. The topic of Indo-European languages/origins is a minefield. I like both books although Mallory's is a bit dated. However in fairness to Mallory he has updated and/or re-argued and defended his views in more recent works. My co-author, a respected and well-known IE scholar, is highly critical of both Mallory and Anthony. That's the nature of the beast known as Indo-European studies. Highly contentious, lots of figurative blood spilled in that field. Those IE scholars are fighting an academic war to the knife, no quarter asked or given, no mercy.

Roughcoat said...

Derrida's books are only good for when you run out of PrestoLogs.

Or toilet paper.

Joe said...

Shouldn't any visit to the Holocaust Museum be considered worthwhile, regardless of the original motivation?

(Or, like too many museums, is it intended only for the elite and very serious?)

mockturtle said...

(Or, like too many museums, is it intended only for the elite and very serious?)

Like the opera, everyone should be welcome but, like at the opera, it is bad form to be staring at your phone while there.

rcocean said...

Why is there a "holocaust museum" in the USA?

We had nothing to do with the "Holocaust" except lose 400,000 American servicemen trying to end it.



rcocean said...

Oh no, not the Holocaust museum!

Next thing you know they'll be playing pokeman during NYT editorial board meeting or in synagogue.

love johnson said...

Would it be ok at The Tomb of the Unknown? I mean it's only 1 dead guy, not a whole cemetery full.

JAORE said...

Perhaps our hostess as never seen the results of the crowd finding one of these Pokemon sites.

It is not conducive to contemplation of your surroundings. Nor would it be helpful to those that actually came to view the museum.

Renee said...

Just keep it in the lobby.

Move the spot just outside.