ALBANY, N.Y. — Pokemon Go has gone from the hottest thing going to something you may want to avoid. It seems the game is luring kids right up to sex offenders' doorsteps. They might not find Pikachu, but they could find an unwanted peek-a-boo.
New York senators, Diane Savino and Jeffrey Klein, looked into this and found Pokemon characters pop up in front of Level 2 and 3 sex offenders' homes 57 percent of the time. And 73 percent of the time, Pokemon items (like potions and eggs) show up near a high level sex offender's home. That includes people like rapists and others who had sex with underage kids.
"That scares the hell out of me, and it should scare the hell out of all of us," Savino said.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo banned 3000 paroled sex offenders from playing the game Monday. The senators also suggest game developers cross check their Poke-stops with the national registry of sex offenders.
Strangely enough, none of this is what prompted the latest controversial game update. Developers got rid of the footprints feature that gave you hints creatures were near. They said it needs an upgrade. They also nixed third-party tools like Pokevision that helped you find specific monsters, saying it frustrated users by causing server crashes.
These changes have upset many players. The game now has a 1 1/2 star rating on iTunes, and folks are demanding (and getting) refunds for stuff they bought in the app.
Will bad updates and sex predators put a stop to Pokemon Go? Who knows? But it's sure to take more than stardust and a potion to revive it.