Over 2,100 registered sex offenders have been banned by the state of New York from playing online video games. The goal is to make games such as World of Warcraft safer for the children who played them.
Dubbed Operation: Game Over, the initiative used a list provided by the state’s Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act to ban registered sex offenders from playing online games. According to NBC News, over 3,800 individuals were booted back in April.
Microsoft, Apple, Blizzard, and Electronic Arts were among the companies that participated in Operation: Game Over earlier this year. The recent purging of sex offenders from the world of online gaming found NCSOFT Corporation, FunCon, THQ, and others joining the ranks.
“The Internet is the crime scene of the 21st century, and we must ensure that online video game platforms do not become a digital playground for dangerous predators,” Attorney General Schneiderman said in a recent statement on the matter. “That means doing everything possible to block sex offenders from using gaming systems as a vehicle to prey on underage victims.”
He added, “I applaud the online gaming companies that have purged registered sex offenders from their networks in time for the holiday season. Together, we are making the online community a safer place for the children of New York.”
Officials believe anyone who has been convicted of a sex crime shouldn’t be allowed to interact with children in an online setting. According to the Pew Research Center, 97 percent of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 play some sort of online video game.
CNET explains that convicted sex offenders are forced to provide a list of their online accounts to the state of New York. Once it’s determined which games these individuals are playing, officials then make contact with the corresponding companies in an effort to purge these accounts.
What do you think about Operation: Game Over? Do you think sex offenders should be banned from online video games?