Game maker Niantic Labs has planted innumerable "PokeStops," or little in-game treasure troves, near real-life landmarks in places where the game is played. Players can see these spots on their phone screens, which show them a map of where they are walking in real life, augmented with treats and monsters from the Pokemon world.

A PokeStop could be an artwork in a museum or an interesting architectural feature on a building. Gamers need to visit these landmarks to arm themselves for the game—and they need to visit so-called gyms—similar real-world-based locations—to train to play better. (Full disclosure: The Bloomberg building in New York City is a "gym.") There are thousands of PokeStops and gyms in a given city, plus roving little monsters to fight—which are the actual Pokemon in the game's title.


Niantic Labs, the Google offshoot that developed Pokemon Go, gave Bloomberg the following statement about the placement of its PokeStops:

“PokeStops and Gyms in Pokemon GO are found at publicly accessible places such as historical markers, public art installations, museums and monuments.”

In most cases, PokeStops are intended to exist in public spaces rather than behind a real-life paywall. In other words, if an institution charges admission, PokeStops should be outside the turnstiles. (Inappropriate or mistaken PokeStops and gyms can be reported on Niantic Labs’ site.)

Still, many museum-based PokeStops, such as those at the Morikami, New York City’sMuseum of Modern Art, and Boston’s Museum of Science, can’t be found without paying admission.

Those museums that have PokeStops in their publicly accessible areas are hoping to convert gamers into paying visitors—perhaps even converting a few into repeat customers.