Pokémon GO Players and Veterans Clash at a Memorial Park

A group of Pokémon GO Players in Minnesota set up a tent in a Memorial Park and got into a heated confrontation with veterans.

A group of Pokémon GO Players in Minnesota set up a tent in a Memorial Park and got into a heated confrontation with veterans.

If there’s one thing that can be certain about Pokémon GO, it’s the fact that the GPS system has picked some less than ideal spots for Pokestops and for capturing Pokémon. There was actually a Pokéstop at Auschwitz of all things, which is further detailed in my earlier article about Pokémon GO. 

Recently in Winona, Minnesota, a group of Pokémon GO players and a group of veterans clashed in the Veteran’s Memorial Park. The group of players had set up their tent to play in the park, which they had been doing for some time when one of the veterans had enough and approached them. Both groups began to yell at one another, various obscenities were thrown out and it eventually culminated in Bruce Reed, a Vietnam War Veteran, jumping all over the group’s already taken down tent. 

The confrontation was filmed and is featured in the header above, but here’s an actual link to the video on You Tube

The video has over a million views and has a massive amount of dislikes by viewers, with the comments disabled. The Pokémon GO players who had their names released by the press are receiving death threats from people on the Internet.  An interview by Kare 11 with the young man recording the video, Brandon, states that:

“I have a huge respect for veterans.” Brandon said. 

But that respect stopped when Reed started yelling at them.

“Veteran or not you don’t respect someone that is in your face screaming obscenities at you,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the man, Bruce Reed, who is on the committee of Veteran’s Memorial park stated:

“We don’t want them doing anything but honoring the park down there. They can go down there. They can walk down there.  They can hold hands together. They can sit on benches. They can look at the monument but we don’t want them playing Pokemon. This is sacred ground here for us in Winona.” 

Due to this incident, the people of the Winona City Council had drafted up a proposal that would ban gaming like Pokémon GO in the park. It was later changed to just banning tents and hammocks from being set up in the park. 

The incident paints a rather bleak view of both groups involved, who just wanted to be in the park for their own purposes. The park itself isn’t a graveyard, but contains a memorial site for the fallen veterans. The group in question did set up their tent away from the memorial but setting up a tent can be viewed as disrespectful due to the nature of the park itself.  However, screaming at someone isn’t the best way to solve your problems — and neither is the destruction of property. There is disrespect shown on both sides and neither group handled this situation well. 

What do you think about this latest incident in Pokémon GO‘s saga of incidents? Do you side with the veterans or do you side with the Pokémon GO players? Were they both in the wrong? Tell us below in the comments.

About the author

Angelina Bonilla

Angelina Bonilla, also known as Red Angel, is a writer with a Bachelor's degree in Humanities, as well as a passion for various other topics such as life sciences and psychology. Video games have been a big part of her life since childhood and she writes about them with the same passion that she writes about books.