Elsewhere online
July 13, 2016

Pokémon Go Craze Bringing Visitors to Major Museums

Many museums are seeing increased foot traffic this week as a result of being integrated into the wildly popular mobile game Pokémon Go, according to art-news site Hyperallergic.

The location-based “augmented reality” game sends players out to catch Pokémon characters in real-world settings, among them cultural institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Released last week, Pokémon Go quickly became the most-downloaded smartphone app in the United States and now rivals Twitter in daily active users.

Many museums have embraced their inclusion in the game, touting their “Pokéstops” on social media and posting images of the digital characters at exhibits. But the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington has asked visitors to refrain from catching Pokémon within its walls, The Washington Post reports.

Spokesman Andrew Hollinger said the museum is pro-technology and encourages attendees to share their experience via social media, but playing Pokémon Go “is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism.” The institution is looking into whether it can be excluded from the game’s sites, he said.