Though most likely unintentional, the inclusion of PokéStops in cemeteries gives Pokémon Go players the opportunity to learn more about local memorials, to explore their own thoughts and feelings around death and cemeteries, and potentially have discussions about it with their friends or partners. Although some might argue that players visiting these memorials are mainly there to capture virtual pocket monsters, PokéStops are still presenting the opportunity to visit places they most likely wouldn’t normally, and learn something about them — like I did with the murals and graffiti in my own neighbourhood.
That being said, it is absolutely imperative for Pokémon Go players to be extremely mindful and considerate when considering visiting these PokéStops, as many of them can be found in cemeteries that still actively host funerals, or home loved ones with living relatives or friends who still visit and mourn them.
Augmented reality has been used in cemeteries, but this is something new. The young people in our office are all playing Pokemon Go . It can be a struggle to convince them to go outside during the day rather than watching YouTube videos, so this is a welcome activity as far as I’m concerned. I’ve seen swarms of people locally, young and old, playing too.
I agree with Gabby, this is an opportunity for those playing to explore and learn, not something to be met with too much cynicism, especially with the friendly and positive tone of the game. It’s early days for Pokemon Go and augmented reality as a whole, but if the developers of this and other apps are able to provide a way to flag anything that could be sensitive (perhaps a shared, open map of sensitive locations?) that may help prevent issues in the future.