Pokemon Go: Niantic addresses community, New York panics over sex offenders

    
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Bah, it was just a bird.

Niantic has finally addressed the Pokemon Go community’s uproar over the weekend patch that fixed the three-step-bug by taking it out and silenced location and map apps in one fell swoop. The three-step display, the studio says in a G+ entry, was “confusing and did not meet [its] underlying product goals”; it’s promised to “keep you posted” as to future improvements. The third-party mapping apps were “interfering with [its] ability to maintain quality of service for [its] users and to bring Pokémon GO to users around the world.” (And yes that includes Brazil, so stop hacking our twitters, they are silently saying.)

“We want you to know that we have been working crazy hours to keep the game running as we continue to launch globally. If you haven’t heard us Tweeting much it’s because we’ve been heads down working on the game. But we’ll do our best going forward to keep you posted on what’s going on.”

Meanwhile, New York state is busy freaking out over the idea that the bad guys might potentially try to use Pokemon Go lures to harm children.

“[T]he State of New York is moving swiftly to respond to troubling news that young children using Pokémon GO are being steered to locations in close proximity to, or even at, sex offender residences,” wrote Governor Andrew Cuomo in a public letter to Niantic yesterday. Cuomo demands that Niantic provide its “assistance” by implementing New York’s sex offender list and presumably blocking those on it from playing, which as GamesIndustry.biz has pointed out rather precariously extends laws banning sex offender parolees from social media sites to banning parolees from playing Pokemon Go and other ARGs and online games.

To be clear, we’ve been covering Pokemon Go since its launch, and we haven’t heard of a single story of a sex offender actually luring anyone to harm via Pokemon Go; Cuomo appears to be relying on an informal government report that found Pokemon near registered sex offenders’ homes (as this is how the game works). But just in case, we should probably ban vans filled with candy too.

Let’s also ban parents, since parents are far more likely to harm their children than are strangers — like these kind of parents, who left their two-year-old baby home alone while they cruised around town hunting Pokemon.

With thanks to Nordavind.