Niantic working to remove Pokemon entirely from requested sites
Almost since launch, we've heard stories of Pokemon Go players being asked to refrain from playing at memorial sites, museums of various stripes, and cemeteries. Developer Niantic has a page to request the removal of Pokestops and gyms from private property and dangerous areas, but it's going one further, honoring requests to turn certain sites into complete Pokemon dead zones.
One of the first of these is Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan, which recently held its 71st annual memorial service for victims of the atomic bomb dropped there on August 6th, 1945. City officials had asked Niantic to remove the park from Pokemon Go ahead of the ceremony, and though Pokestops and gyms vanished by this past Thursday, it wasn't until the day of the ceremony on August 6th that the company further removed all creature spawns from the area., turning it into a completely Pokemon-free zone. Players using the app within the area of the park will now have no reason to do so, as there's simply nothing to 'play' there.
That Niantic is able to create dead zones like this is promising for many other memorial sites and private locations which have not taken well to the augmented reality game's intrusion onto their physical space, like the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The latter of which appears to already at least have its Pokestops disabled, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Not all sacred sites have been opposed to the influx of Pokemon fans. The Miyazaki Shrine, also in Hiroshima, welcomes players as long as they stick to catching critters found outside its walls, saying that Pokemon found within the building might "possibly be servants of the gods" and should not be disturbed.
Top image: Ganbaku Dome at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, photographed by SElefant (Wikimedia Commons).