"Pokemon Go" – the mobile app that allows users to find and capture Pokémon – is attracting unwanted foot traffic around Atlanta.
The app’s craze has been broaching dialogue on private property laws and safety concerns. Although it’s tempting to go to the ends of the earth to capture them all, there’s some places you probably will need to avoid during your hunt.
So, here’s a list of Atlanta locations where it's more of a “Pokemon No” than a "Pokemon Go."
1. Pokemon No - Hospitals
Recently, there’s been Reddit threads circulating the web encouraging "Pokemon Go" users to drop off lures – a module used to attract Pokemon – around hospitals, especially children’s hospitals. The Bert Show, an Atlanta-based radio show, also prompted listeners to go to children’s hospitals, find a Pokestop and drop a lure for only 99 cents.
Officials at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta respectfully declined the onslaught of "Pokemon Go" trainers on their campus. In spite of that, Chrisse Gallentine, spokeswoman for The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, said CHOA leadership is discussing appropriate ways to make sure patients have access to participate with "Pokemon Go."
“If our patient families and their registered visitors are interested in dropping lures on the Pokestops inside or around Children’s, we welcome that,” Gallentine said. “However, we request that no one come to the hospital specifically for that reason.”
Bert Weiss from The Bert Show apologized over Twitter and said he "didn't mean to cause any commotion" with his suggestion.
The issue of Pokemon Go players on hospital campuses is a national one. Officials at one healthcare system in Kansas City, Kansas, have asked employees and hospital vistors to cease "catching them all" on or near its hospitals.
2. Pokemon No- Private property
On Facebook, gamers have complained about being kicked off certain locations by business owners or police for trespassing private property. One such case occurred at Alpharetta's American Legion Post 201 on Wills Road last week. Facebook user Daniel Soto said he was "kicked out" of the post's baseball field.
Bob Shafer, the senior vice commander of the American Legion Post in Alpharetta, said he’s had to turn away large groups of young players –with up to 20 people – from the site. Shafer said he’s had problems with gamers leaving behind trash near the venue’s baseball fields and taking up parking spaces.
If a business is on private property, then the business owner have every right to stop a game before players get to capture an Eevee or Borlax, George Gordon, Alpharetta Police Department spokesman, said.
“Private property is private property,” Gordon said.
But many business owners and community leaders did not anticipate the popularity of the app.
“(Gamers) don’t have the right to be there. We’re very sympathetic, and we do a lot community activities, but this one has been imposed on us,” Shafer said. “If this thing multiplies, we could be swamped.”
Gordon said that there’s a definite learning curve between the private property owners and Pokémon players.
“Gamers need to understand not to go on private property,” Gordon said. But that doesn’t give private property owners permission to let “things get out of control,” he said.
3. Pokemon No – Museums
Certain locations that deal with sensitive historical issues, such as Atlanta’s Breman Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum, are important to avoid.
Although the Breman Museum doesn’t have a set policy on how to deal with "Pokemon Go," David Schendowich, spokesman for the museum, said the historical educational museum prefers if people don’t play near or in its location.
“Pokémon is not the proper augmented reality experience for a holocaust exhibition,” Schendowich said.
The Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington in DC has also asked players not to play the game in or around the museum.
“Some places are revered by character and nature of existence,” Gordon said. “Just be respectful."
4. Pokémon No - Cemeteries
Although cemeteries appear to be a popular hotspot for the GPS-driven game, it’s important to be sensitive of your surroundings.
"People simply need to enjoy the experience but be smart about external environment," Gordon said.
Arlington National Cemetery released a statement on its Facebook page requesting visitors refrain from playing the game on the cemetery's grounds. The Newnan-Times Herald reported that the City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday that prohibits people playing internet or cellphone games at the city's three cemeteries.
Clearly, the game has brought excitement around Atlanta locales and across the nation, but players have attracted some ire by in venturing in the wrong areas.
Alpharetta officials hope to ease some of the tension between players and the public by releasing a video highlighting how to be safe while catching Pokémon, Gordon said.
Until then, watch where you drop your lures, trainers.
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