New York Looks to Ban Sex Offenders from Online Gaming

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday that the state will begin making a push to prevent sex offenders from access gaming platforms or websites and have already gotten a great deal of support with the industry.

Schneiderman cited a 2008 study that claimed 27 percent of teenagers admitted to playing online with strangers as part of the danger that makes online gaming not just a fun diversion but, as he put it, a potential “21st century crime scene.” While that number may seem frightening to non-gamers, I think most would agree that well over 75% of all gamers have played online with strangers, teenage or otherwise. That is simply the nature of online gaming.

Several big companies are already on board including Microsoft and Apple who have moved to suspend communication privileges for 3,500+ accounts. Also known to be in support of the agreement with a stake in gaming are EA, Blizzard, Warner Bros., and Disney.

A specific case that was cited during the announcement was that of a 19-year old man who admitted earlier this month to luring a 10-year old boy to his home predominately using Xbox LIVE communications as his medium.

Enforcing the agreement, aptly named “Operation: Game Over,” is much easier than one would imagine. In the state of New York, sex offenders must disclose their email address and online accounts at all times. This would make things as easy as someone like Microsoft going through once a week to cross-reference these accounts and suspending communications on those accounts.

There doesn’t seem to be a timeline on when these will take effect or whether they already are taking effect. It is known, though, that there are no programs like this in any other states but there is progress being made on making this system applicable for any state wishing to enforce it.

Author: Christian View all posts by
Christian runs the show on the HBG front page. He's a huge sports gaming fan who used never stray far from his favorite genre. That said, he's become more and more interested in other games over the years, adding fighting, western RPG, strategy, and FPS games to his library of games.

5 Comments | Open Mic -- Say What You Feel

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  1. By JesusHMacy on 04-05-2012 19:06

    Good thing I don't live in New York.

    Reply

  2. By Davekraft on 04-05-2012 19:28

    How about banning them from babysitting. It's actually not illegal, just depends on how stupid and careless the parents are.

    Reply

  3. By UFC345 on 04-05-2012 19:36

    The law sure does love to Alienate Sex Offenders

    Reply

  4. By FlameWolf on 04-06-2012 00:30

    The problem with this is it's too easy to become a sex offender. By that I mean not all sex offenders are people with creepy pedophile beards and rapist sunglasses. You can become a sex offender if you simply have underage, but consenting sex or have nudes of your girlfriend who is a minor. Hell, one guy on Reddit said his Facebook was deleted recently because Facebook got rid of all accounts belonging to sex offenders. His offense? He touched a girl's boob(the girl didn't get upset) and was charged with handling and fondling a minor because a 3rd party observed it.

    What sucks is these people are stuck with this label of "sex offender" for the rest of their lives, and are lumped together with rapists and child molesters. The term sex offender needs to be redefined to not include kids who are just too horny during their teenage years. After that, go ahead and ban the real creeps. I just feel bad for those who are wrongfully hurt by this, and probably need their video games to escape from the world.

    Reply

  5. By Almightytharo on 04-06-2012 01:36

    Originally Posted by FlameWolf:
    Quote The problem with this is it's too easy to become a sex offender. By that I mean not all sex offenders are people with creepy pedophile beards and rapist sunglasses. You can become a sex offender if you simply have underage, but consenting sex or have nudes of your girlfriend who is a minor. Hell, one guy on Reddit said his Facebook was deleted recently because Facebook got rid of all accounts belonging to sex offenders. His offense? He touched a girl's boob(the girl didn't get upset) and was charged with handling and fondling a minor because a 3rd party observed it.

    What sucks is these people are stuck with this label of "sex offender" for the rest of their lives, and are lumped together with rapists and child molesters. The term sex offender needs to be redefined to not include kids who are just too horny during their teenage years. After that, go ahead and ban the real creeps. I just feel bad for those who are wrongfully hurt by this, and probably need their video games to escape from the world.

    It's not like people are surprised and blind sided by these laws. People know that you're not supposed to be having relations with someone who is underage.

    I agree with what you're saying about the "Sex offender" being a little broad of a term for instances like this.

    But I am all for what NY is pushing. In MN they're not even allowed to have internet and that includes cellphones. They have to have cellphones with no data capabilities and it thats not possible, they have to just settle for a landline.

    Reply