New Bill Would Ban Sex Offenders from Playing Pokemon Go

A state legislator appeared!

Photo via iStock/George Clerk

Photo via iStock/George Clerk

Pokemon Go is all the rage with the kids these days. That’s precisely what one state lawmaker is worried about.

Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik, a Gardner Democrat, filed a bill Monday that would ban registered sex offenders from playing all augmented reality multiplayer games, including Pokemon Go.

“The unique game and its playing features present the possibility that potential sex offenders could use the features of the game to commit crimes against children,” Zlotnik said in a press release. “Anytime a new technology comes along we have to make sure that the law keeps up so that criminals can’t take advantage of any created gaps.”

In a statement, Niantic, the game’s creator, said one of its core missions is to encourage safe outdoor play and exercise.

“We are always listening to our community and we have heard the concerns raised in recent days about Pokemon GO. We will always ensure our products comply with applicable laws,” the company said in a statement. “We also believe that parents know their children and neighborhoods best, and we encourage them to supervise their kids to enjoy Pokemon GO safely, as they would with any outdoor activity or phone app.”

When asked if he plays Pokemon Go himself, Zlotnik told the State House News Service he’s “tried it out.”