It’s the gaming phenomenon that has taken over worldwide, but two American senators have uncovered a ‘very dangerous potential downside’ to Pokémon Go.


According to a report in the New York Times, the popular ‘augmented-reality’ game has been leading children to unsafe areas to catch their Pokémon – including those close by to the houses of known sex offenders.


A participant of the game, which runs on a phone app, is led on a hunt for Pokémon characters around real areas in their locality such as parks and streets.



An informal investigation was carried out by New York State senators Jeffrey Klein and Diane Savino, who got their staff to cross-reference the addresses of 100 known sex offenders in New York City, with popular locations used in Pokémon Go. 


The results were disturbing, with a reported 57 characters ‘found’ close by to the homes of known paedophiles. Similar results were reported back from other states including California and North Carolina.


Releasing their research results this weekend, the senators have proposed the drafting of new legislation to tackle this concerning issue.



Scheduled for introduction next week, the legislation would prohibit sex offenders from participating in these augmented-reality games. Furthermore, it would require the games’ creators to cross-reference any locations used with the addresses of known criminals.


A worried Senator Klein said: “When you open the door to technology, in many cases it’s very, very good; but we always have to be very, very concerned about the potential downside. And I think this is certainly a very dangerous potential downside.”


There has been no response as of yet from the games’ developer, Niantic Inc.


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