Image: WKRC CINCINNATI
Pokémon Go players have found themselves wandering all over the world in search of resources, new Pokémon and battles with or against friends. But not everyone is happy to see the uptick in wandering players with their noses buried into their phones.
According to local news channel WKRC, The St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio, hasn’t been too pleased that Pokémon Go players are showing up for PokeStops. It’s also apparently not the first time the cemetery has tried to post signs to discourage players from entering.
In the local channel’s news report above, superintendent Joe Windt explains that players will drive through services unfazed, even running into trees. It wouldn’t be the first time a Pokémon Go player accidentally wandered off too far because they didn’t look up from their phone.
But, seriously, how fast could they have been going to produce this damage? How old was this tree??
It’s also not the first cemetery to react against Pokémon Go players’ presence. Cincinnati’s Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum, for example, was once frequented by Pokémon Go players due to the plentiful virtual resources that could be found there. Though the stops have since been removed, the cemetery’s vice president of operations, Gerald Wantz, decided to handle matters differently at the time. According to a Cincinnati report on his press release, Wantz simply asked that anyone entering the cemetery wear a shirt and exhibit a modicum of respect for others not there for the ripe Pokémon action. Definitely reasonable enough.
Another Cincinnati gravesite actually embraced the Pokémon presence. Zachary Henzerling, who is buried at Arlington Memorial Gardens, was a big fan of Pokémon himself, and his family was delighted to find out that his tombstone was actually a gym where other players would gather to battle. They even left a sweet note welcoming those players.
Niantic, the developer behind the game, has yet to directly address St. Joseph’s Cemetery’s request to have the PokeStops removed, but their general policy in their terms of service requires that players "will not inflict emotional distress on other people, will not humiliate other people (publicly or otherwise), will not assault or threaten other people, will not enter onto private property without permission…"
The company generally selects locations for their stops and gyms that are both safe and public property, though there are means by which people can request them to be taken down.
Many other cemeteries across the U.S., not just Cincinnati, have posted signs trying to ban Pokémon Go players from entering. Some have managed to get their PokeStops removed. Others find ways to bond with the bigger community of players out there who enjoy peaceful (and respectful) walks through the sites.