British Teens Caught ‘Taking Selfies,’ Desecrating Jewish Cemetery, While Hunting for Pokemon
A group of British youths aroused the ire of Edmonton residents this week, by playing the wildly popular “Pokemon Go” game at a Jewish graveyard, Jewish News reported.
Local historian Stanley Kaye told the newspaper that a number of boys and girls were “taking selfies” at the Federation Cemetery on Monday. Kaye approached the group and asked them not to step on the graves, out of respect.
“They told me they were looking for the Pokemon,” he said. “Apparently there was a mistake in the coordinates. The location was supposed to be the golf club nearby. The caretaker said he’s had to ask several groups to leave for the same reason. I went online to try to correct the coordinates, but I’m not sure that it will work.”
Pokemon Go is the latest global gaming craze, with millions of users around the world. Using virtual reality technology, players view their immediate surroundings through an alternate reality accessed by their phone’s camera. Players hunt, catch and battle for Pokemon monsters.
The game has sparked international outcry for its controversial locations, such as the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, the 9/11 Museum and Memorial in New York and the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
On Thursday, a memorial dedicated to the victims of Nazism in Austria became the latest Pokemon Go battleground, The Local reported. “It is intolerable that a fighting arena is situated in such a place. We will request the game operators to delete it,” a spokesman for the mayor of Graz said.
On Wednesday, officials in charge of Vienna cemeteries had to ask players to “keep a distance from funerals” and stop climbing over graveyards as they hunt for the virtual creatures. “We have nothing against the Pokemons but ask, however, for pious behavior at our graveyards while on the search for Pokemon and visiting the numerous Pokestops,” the Friedhöfe Wien wrote on Facebook.
The viral game has lead to many injuries — including players getting hit by cars, falling off cliffs and getting into physical and violent fights — being lured to be robbed at gunpoint, and, on Thursday, a first death.
Two teenage cousins were out hunting Pokemon in Guatemala when they were gunned down, the Independent reported. Eighteen-year-old Jerson Lopez de Leon died after sustaining injuries from the ambush. While police said it is unclear why the duo was attacked, they believe the shooters accessed the teenss location through the Pokemon Go app.