Pokémon Go banned at genocide site in Cambodia

The Pokémon Go game has caused distress in Cambodia, where some smartphone-wielding players have been chasing its virtual characters at a genocide museum that was a torture centre in the 1970s.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum director Chhay Visoth said he has posted signs at the site’s entrance and inside banning the popular game, which made its Cambodian debut last weekend, and told his staff to watch out for anyone playing it.

He described the museum as a memorial to Cambodia’s suffering. Since the warnings were put up, there have been no reports of tourists playing the game there, he said.

During the 1975-79 Khmer Rouge regime an estimated 17,000 Cambodians were tortured at the centre, known as S-21 prison, and then killed. An estimated 1.7 million Cambodians died from execution, starvation and inadequate medical care.

Pokémon Go overlays cartoon characters on a smartphone map of the actual physical landscape. Since the point of the game is to capture the creatures in their real-life locations, hordes of people converge on the landmarks where they are found to advance their scores.

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