Cemeteries, church asks Pokemon Go users to refrain from playing on their grounds

Published: Jul. 13, 2016 at 7:59 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2016 at 9:41 PM CDT
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MONTEVALLO, AL (WBRC) - Pokémon Go has grabbed the imagination of the nation, no doubt about it. But there are places where it would be inappropriate to play the game.

There are reports of players trespassing on private property to gather monsters or access Pokestops -- places where users can collect items. Public spaces including parks, churches, cemeteries and museums are also hot spots for the game. This has, inevitably, caused some issues.

Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum have asked users to not play Pokemon Go on their property. The memorial museum has said it is trying to get the game developers to remove them as a Pokestop.

We reached out to several local landmarks for their stance on the game.

Alabama's National Cemetery in Montevallo released this statement.

"National Cemeteries are dedicated to the service and sacrifice of our nation's Veterans and their families. While we invite visitors to all 134 VA national cemeteries, we remind them of its solemn purpose and ask that they act in a dignified manner while on the cemetery grounds. For this reason, recreational gaming, like Pokémon Go, is not permitted."

Elmwood Cemetery, another prominent site in the Birmingham area, shared a similar sentiment:

"We are aware that Elmwood Cemetery has been identified as a "hotspot" in the new Pokémon Go game. Cemeteries, by their nature, are quiet and serene spaces designed to serve as a final resting place and to provide families with a place to honor their loved ones. Elmwood Cemetery is privately owned and out of respect for the families we serve, Pokémon Go players are asked to refrain from loitering and playing the game while on the property."

Others agree with the ban like Mary Hampton of Gadsden who is visiting with her family at Kelly Ingram Park.

"I think it's probably a good game but at the same time I think it needs to be played in a respected place. It's at time and place for everything," Hampton said.

Pastor Arthur Price of the 16th Baptist Church says it would not be appropriate for Pokemon Go Players to try to capture monsters at the church. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is not commenting on the game.

"I think they need to respect the comfort of others ever while playing the game," Hampton said.

Those who enjoy Pokémon Go will have a lot of places and options when they play their game while others places may be off limits but that doesn't mean the enjoyment will stop.

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