Pokemon Go players have been searching for digital creatures all over Charlotte.
But if they’re spotted at hospitals or doctors offices, they’ll be asked to stop playing because it could distract from the serious business of patient care.
Officials of Carolinas HealthCare System said Thursday that security guards asked one Pokemon player to leave a parking lot in Mint Hill because “they had no legitimate business at the location.
“It is important that we keep visitors to our properties and facilities limited to patients, families and friends of patients and those with legitimate hospital business,” Carolinas HealthCare said in an email. “For patient safety and privacy reasons, this activity can’t be permitted on CHS property.”
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Officials at Novant Health said they would also ask people not to play in health-care settings: “We would stop anyone acting suspiciously (groups of people walking the halls, looking at their phones and not paying attention to their surroundings) and ask them if they need assistance. If they acknowledge they are playing the game, we would ask them to refrain.”
Since its launch last week, the Pokemon Go app has quickly become a cultural phenomenon. Fans are hunting around their neighborhoods for collectible digital creatures that appear on players’ screens as they explore real-world locations.
Earlier this week, the Holocaust Museum asked Pokemon players to stop searches inside the museum, where the gaming activity was distracting from the museum’s solemn purpose. The museum, along with many other landmarks, is a “PokeStop” within the game – a place where players can get free in-game items.
“Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism,” Andrew Hollinger, the museum’s communications director, told The Washington Post. “We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game.”
Catch ’em all with the Observer
Will you be playing Pokemon Go in Uptown Friday, July 15? If so, come check out the PokeStop from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the NASCAR Fountain at the corner of Stonewall and Caldwell. The Charlotte Observer will have free giveaways – and of course, the wild Pokemon will be around for you to catch!