Sex Offenders in New York Will Not Be Allowed to Play Pokemon Go

August 2, 2016 | Updated: 9:02 a.m., August 2, 2016

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Pokemon Go Craze Hits New York City on July 29, 2016 in New York City.

Pokemon Go Craze Hits New York City on July 29, 2016 in New York City.

Sex offenders in the state of New York won’t be allowed to pick up their phones and play Pokemon Go, at least while they’re on parole. The new rule was revealed Monday in a press release from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office.

Governor Cuomo has also requested help from Niantic, Inc., the company behind Pokemon Go, in prohibiting “dangerous sexual predators” from playing the game.

“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,” Governor Cuomo said. “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.”

The new rule will apply to nearly 3,000 sex offenders currently on parole. It comes after a report from two New York state senators who say while playing the game, children have accidentally been lead near sex offender residences. There’s also a feature within the game that allows for a “lure” to be purchased which could encourage players to go to a specific location.

What is Pokemon Go?

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Pokemon Go is the video game that has everyone talking. The interactive hit blends the virtual world of Pokemon with the real world, and it has people across the globe going outdoors with just one goal: gotta catch ’em all.

A Pokemon (short for pocket monster) is a little animalian creature. There are many, many types. When someone is catching Pokemon in Pokemon GO, the general aim is to get as many different kinds as possible. The most well-known Pokemon is Pikachu, who you will surely recognize regardless of how out-of-the-loop you are.

The app, which is free to download and play, uses GPS and your phones camera to show a different reality everywhere you go. In this colorful version of reality, Pokémon are interspersed throughout, and when you come within range of a Pokémon you can “approach” them and they will show up on your phone.


To capture Pokemon, you need Pokeballs and to get more Pokeballs, you walk to different “Pokestops,” which are usually found at interesting places around your city or community. The ideal gameplay strategy is to walk around, trying to cover a lot of ground to get to different Pokéstops and come across different Pokémon who might be hiding in your path. Gotta catch ’em all!

The app set a new Apple record as the most App Store downloads in its first week. Ever. Apple confirmed the record, but didn’t have any specific numbers to share. Shortly after its July 6 debut, Pokemon Go shot to the top of the App Store’s top free apps charts and has stayed there ever since.