With New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo leading the charge, registered sex offenders in New York will no longer be allowed to play or even download Pokemon GO, or any other interactive online game for that matter. Per a government directive that was published earlier today, the Governor’s office is fearful that sex offenders will use games like Pokemon GO to lure children into unsafe situations.
“Protecting New York’s children is priority number one and, as technology evolves, we must ensure these advances don’t become new avenues for dangerous predators to prey on new victims,” Cuomo said in a press release. “These actions will provide safeguards for the players of these augmented reality games and help take one more tool away from those seeking to do harm to our children.”
With the new gaming restrictions in place, any sex offender caught playing Pokemon GO or any other restricted software title will be deemed to be in violation of their parole. In turn, agreeing to refrain from Pokemon GO is now a condition for parole that inmates must agree to prior to being released.
As to the specific reasons why New York lawmakers have Pokemon GO on their radar in the first place, Senator Diane Savino explained that sex offenders who “download the game legally could pinpoint hot spots where children congregate, like pokestops or gyms, and meet them in person.”
To this point, Savino, along with Senator Jeffrey Klein, did a bit of investigative work on their own and discovered that many pokestops and gyms are already located in the vicinity of registered sex offenders.
To help effectuate the new ban, Cuomo has instructed the New York State Department of Corrections and Community to reach out to Pokemon GO developer Niantic and provide them with an updated list of registered sex offenders in order to help prevent them from playing the game.
“Pokémon GO entertains our children,” Savino said, “but it forgets about the reality of this world: it can be dangerous.”