Add Japan's Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park to the growing list of inappropriate Pokemon Go-playing venues that includes the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The park commemorates the dropping of the first atomic bomb at the end of World War II, and city officials are hoping to avoid Poke-scavengers wandering through the annual ceremony to remember bombing victims on August 6.
The officials of the western Japanese city have asked game developer Niantic Inc. to remove the virtual PokeStops and gyms from the site before the annual ceremony to remember the victims of the bombing on August 6.
The expansive Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is meant as a solemn memorial to the victims but has been visited by Pokémon Go players since the augmented reality game’s delayed launch in Japan on July 22.
It follows a request by the operators of the Fukushima nuclear plant - highly radioactive after its 2011 meltdown - to keep Pokemon out of its plants.
The wildly popular Pokemon Go was released in Japan on lastFriday.
It superimposes virtual characters on a smartphone's view of the real world, with players catching monsters in physical places designated "Pokestops" and training them in "gyms" .
Unlike most smartphone games, it requires players to walk around in their hunt, leading to official requests around the world for people to be kept away from locations for safety or sensitivity reasons.
Nintendo's augmented-reality game has become a worldwide megahit, scoring over 75 million downloads in less than a month. The obsession has spread to pretty much every corner of the globe, leading to some awkward moments for Poke-players wandering onto an Indonesian military base or off a cliff, among other fails.
Commuters in the UK have also warned about dangers of playing Pokémon Go at train stations.
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum also recently told visitors that playing the game there was "extremely inappropriate", while Auschwitz, where millions of people were murdered by the Nazis, has also banned the game.
Hiroshima's Peace Park, which includes a memorial and a museum dedicated to the 140,000 people killed in the world's first nuclear attack, occupies a large, quiet area in an otherwise crowded city.
Niantic offers a form to request exclusions, but it's neither automatic nor guaranteed. It has not commented on this particular case.
The location-aware app gives digital rewards for visiting real places that have been designated Pokestops and Gyms in the game.
Pokemon Go has not been officially launched in India but people are using VPNs to play game in India.
Gamers in India have used hacks or accounts linked to U.S. or U.K.-based app stores to download the game. No launch date has been announced for India.