Holocaust museum tells visitors: Stop playing Pokemon - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Holocaust museum tells visitors: Stop playing Pokemon

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(NBC) -

It's more like "Pokémon NO!"

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. is asking players of the viral smart-phone game Pokémon Go to turn it off and put away their phones when they visit.

In short: Show some respect.

"Playing Pokémon Go in a memorial dedicated to the victims of Nazism is extremely inappropriate," Andy Hollinger, director of communications for the museum, said in a statement to NBC News on Tuesday. "We are attempting to have the Museum removed from the game."

The museum located near the National Mall opened in 1993, and educates visitors about the millions of people systematically murdered by the Nazis from 1933 to 1945.

Meanwhile, the game has been a smash success for Nintendo, revitalizing the Pokémon brand that spawned popular video games, card collectibles and a TV show in the 1990s.

Pokémon Go, which launched last week, is a free downloadable game for iOS and Android devices in which people search out digital Pokémon in the real world using the GPS locator on their devices.

The game might be fun, but this is the wrong place to play it, museum officials say.

"The Museum encourages visitors to use their phones to share and engage with Museum content while here," Hollinger said. "Technology can be an important learning tool, but this game falls far outside of our educational and memorial mission."

reporter for the Washington Post visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum on Monday, and reported that "plenty of people inside the museum seemed to be distracted from its haunting exhibits as they tried to 'catch'em all.'"

Game-maker Niantic did not immediately reply to a request for comment regarding whether it would remove the Museum from the game. 

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