If you happen to find yourself over at Buzzfeed, most likely looking for Pokemon or random lists you never knew you needed to look at, you might stumble upon the story of park rangers at the National Mall doing Nintendo’s work. Instead of just letting people gallivant all over the place while looking for pocket monsters to collect in Pokemon Go, they’re attempting to turn the adventure into their job.
As Chris Geidner points out, the rangers who work at the nation’s monuments are trying to use Pokemon as a way to turn their guidance into an educational experience:
“By talking about it, and actually participating in this with people, it enables us to help guide the experience — so it’s not just somebody out here at the Washington Monument catching a Zubat, it is a ranger walking around with somebody, talking about the Washington Monument,”
Geidner includes several shots of the rangers playing around with guests who are clearly there on the prowl for Pokemon, but also adds that their job is to stop guests from making their way into areas they shouldn’t be. It wouldn’t be the best of looks to go hunting for a Charizard at Arlington National Cemetery. That said, there is a Charizard hanging out at Arlington National Cemetery:
“There are some places in national parks, all over the country, but even here in D.C. on the National Mall, where it may not be appropriate to play Pokémon Go,” Ollig said. “For instance, at the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial — a place that is designed to be a site of solemn reflection — probably not the best place to go chasing after a Pokémon.”
The Park Service also notes that the water at the World War II memorial and the Jefferson rotunda might also be bad choices to go hunting. No mention of the reflecting pool, the halls of Congress, or the White House, so feel free to give those a shot. I hear a MewTwo is hanging out in the Lincoln bedroom.