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In New York, Sex Offenders Banned From Playing Pokémon Go

If you’re a New York sex offender, you can no longer play Pokémon Go, reports NY Daily News.

Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered Sunday that playing Pokémon Go (and similar interactive games) is now a no-no condition of parole. Around 3,000 convicted sex offenders will currently be affected, and the state is pushing for 5,000 “lower level” sex offenders to also be barred from putting on their Pokémon trainer gear.

The dangers of sexual assault while playing Pokémon Go has long been speculated. In Canada, a 31-year-old man was arrested in July for making unwanted sexual advances towards a woman he met while hunting for Pokémon. With this measure, the state hopes to better protect New York trainers.

Cuomo didn’t simply wake up one day and realize that Pokémon gyms are the new playgrounds and implement the ban. His order came two days after New York state senators Jeffrey Klein and Diane Savino released a report titled “Protecting Our Children: How Pokémon Go and Augmented Reality Games Expose Children To Sex Offenders.”

From NY Daily News:

After sending staffers over a two-week period to more than 100 homes of level-2 and level-3 sex offenders in the city, the senators found that characters generated by the Pokémon Go app appeared 57% of the time. That figure rose to 73% when related items like PokeStops and Pokémon gyms are factored in, the report showed.

So, basically, these senators ordered their staff to go play Pokémon Go using a map of the houses of sex offenders. Forget pub crawls — check out the PokeStops near your neighborhood rapists!

The Department of Criminal Justice Services will also be handing over the most recent sex offender registry to Niantic, the game’s software development company, in hopes of working together to keep the rapists hands away from the helpless Pokémon.

This seems like a good thing. Not only for the protection of the children and adult trainers, but for those pixilated Pokémon. Meowth doesn’t evolve into a Persian for no convicted rapist!


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