New York

Officials Warn of Real-Life Dangers of ‘Pokemon Go' App

What to Know

  • The augmented reality game became the top grossing app in the iPhone app store just days after its Wednesday release
  • Gamers are so engrossed in the app that it potentially puts them at risk, some law enforcement officials say
  • Users say they're not concerned about potential hazards, and that the game helps them exercise

"Pokemon Go" is the hottest app in the world, and it seems like everyone’s playing. But the authorities are warning it could cause traffic accidents, commuter delays –- and possibly bring your kids in contact with unsavory elements. 

In Suffolk County Tuesday, a Megan's Law group argued that registered sex offenders should not be allowed to play the augmented reality game, which involves roaming the physical world searching for virtual Pokemon to catch. 

The real-life movement associated with the game, which became the top grossing app in the iPhone app store days after its Wednesday release in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, could potentially put young people at risk if registered sex offenders are directed to playgrounds or other places frequented by children, the group said. 

Other officials have warned of traffic and commute dangers connected to the surging popularity of the game.

New York state's Department of Motor Vehicles says it's worried about "tragic real-world consequences" if someone plays Pokemon Go while behind the wheel or crossing an intersection. And the MTA sent a tweet to its 350,000 followers Tuesday reminding riders to stand behind the yellow line while playing in the subway. 

Images of the Pokemon on MTA buses and trains have littered Instagram and other social media since the app was released. 

The Pokemon Company International did not return NBC News' requests for comment on the potential hazards of the game, but many New Yorkers said they were not concerned. They said the game helps them exercise.

A two-hour security lockdown disrupted thousands of travelers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport late Thursday after a passenger entered a secure zone without submitting to a security check, NBC News reported.
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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