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Two Pa. historic sites, Gettysburg & Shanksville, grapple with Pokemon Go

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jul 13, 2016 4:43 AM
pokemongo_gettysburg.jpg

Photo by National Parks Service

An unidentified visitor from Ohio shows her phone that displays the Pokemon Go game, along with the bronze plaque that includes the words of the Gettysburg Address, in the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg National Military Park on July 12, 2016.

(Gettysburg) -- The new smartphone game called Pokemon Go is forcing leaders at two historic sites in the midstate to confront the craze.

Gettsyburg National Military Park officials say they don't have any issues with it yet, while those at the Flight 93 Memorial had a very different response.

Pokemon Go has sent people into public and private places in search of Pokemon characters.

Players use their smartphone to try to virtually capture characters while at certain real world locations.

Katie Lawhon, spokeswoman at the Gettysburg National Military Park, says they've seen people playing the game - she saw a teenage girl at the Gettysburg National Cemetery was playing the game earlier this week.

Lawhon says it's great that the game encourages looking around, but there's a fine line.

"You know, try to walk the balancing act where you're respectful to the men who were killed here and the history of what happened here, but use it as a way to explore," says Lawhon.

"We're gonna try to learn as much as we can about this and how it might change the experience in the parks, but for the moment, we're cautiously optimistic."

But at the Flight 93 National Memorial, a ranger who refused to identify himself said no one should be playing Pokemon Go there.

He said so far, they haven't seen anyone using their smartphones for it.

The Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. has had to ask visitors to avoid playing the game while in the building.

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