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How Pokemon Go is Affecting D.C. Businesses

Some love it, some hate it

For some businesses in Washington, D.C., the new mobile game, Pokemon Go, is more of a nuisance than a blessing. While the game encourages exploring one’s neighborhood, there are businesses in Washington, D.C. that are more fed up with the surge in visitors than pleased.

The Holocaust Museum has recently asked visitors to not use the game while exploring the museum. In an interview with The Washington Post, Holocaust Museum Communications Director Andrew Hollinger said, "Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism." The museum is now trying to figure out how to get the site excluded from the game. Currently, the museum is a "PokeStop" in the game, or a place where players can collect in-game items.

Meanwhile, other businesses like the gentleman’s club, Camelot Showbar, have only shown enthusiasm for being labeled a "PokeStop" in the game. In a tweet, the business wrote, "Best #pokestop in #DC for sure!"

National park rangers are also joining in on the fun. BuzzFeed reported that the National Park Service hopes to guide Pokemon Go players by not only helping them find nearby Pokemon, but by informing them of the nearby monuments.

Even with the extra help, there are certain locations that rangers hope players avoid. In a statement, the National Park Service said, "Seriously, though, as you race around the park trying to collect as many Pokémon as possible, please remember to be respectful of your fellow visitors as well as the memorials. Yes, it might be tempting to go after that Snorlax near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, or the Venusaur hanging out in the chamber of the Jefferson Memorial, but remember that there are places of solemn reflection here on the National Mall where playing Pokémon just isn’t appropriate."

The game was recently released in the U.S. by Niantic Labs, a Google-grown company, in cooperation with Nintendo and the Pokémon Company. While a free downloadable game, the Nintendo Co. has already begun to see large sums of money pouring in because of it. According to the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo shares surged 25 percent in Tokyo on Monday.

For a more thorough explainer on the game, check out Vox’s article here.