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New York First State to Ban Registered Sex Offenders From Playing Pokémon GO

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After concerns were raised about Pokémon appearing near the homes of registered sex offenders convicted of sex crimes involving children or child pornography, New York has become the first state in the country to ban sex offenders from playing Pokémon GO.

Two New York lawmakers, State Senators Diane Savino (D-S.I.) and Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), have worked hard to get legislation passed that would restrict the game from attracting players to areas within 100 feet of a convicted sex offender’s home. As part of a study they did, they sent staff to over 100 homes of sex offenders. They discovered that Pokémon appeared near the homes 57 percent of the time, and that this figure jumps to 73 percent when PokéStops and Pokémon gyms were included.

Now, according to The Daily Dot, “the Department of Criminal Justice Services will begin working with Apple and Google, which operate the mobile platforms and app stores where Pokémon Go is available for download, “enhance user safety,” according to Cuomo’s office. Cuomo also called for greater data sharing with app developers.”

The new legislation applies not only to Pokémon GO, but to all GPS-oriented games, in the interest of both preventing children from getting too close while having fun in augmented reality, and preventing sex offenders from playing the game and using it as a way to manipulate children into their vicinity.

What do you think? Should other states be following suit? Let us know in the comments below!

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former Mary Sue assistant editor from 2015-18. Teresa's returned to play in the TMS sandbox as a freelancer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.