Incidental beliefs that video games are responsible for a rise in certain crimes apparently still exist.
As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times earlier this week, South Side Democratic state representative Marcus Evans Jr. has submitted proposals to ban video games in an effort to prevent them from supposedly inciting people to perform criminal acts in the real world. HB3531 stipulates that the sale of any game depicting “psychological harm” especially those that make “motor vehicle theft with a driver or passenger present,” should be removed from applicable retailers as soon as possible.
“The bill would prohibit the sale of some of these games that promote the activities that we’re suffering from in our communities,” Evans is cited as saying, with the CST noting that a few of the rep’s constituents are also pursuing tighter restrictions on the sale of any title deemed to be contributing to Chicago’s rise in carjackings.
One of these individuals is Early Walker, who kickstarted the so-called Operation Safe Pump initiative in an effort to curb instances of vehicle theft at gas stations. Walker believes Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V, in particular, has become a “huge issue in this spectrum” and has gone so far as to call on legislators to make it unavailable to purchase. Were the amendment to pass, it’s unclear whether Microsoft, Sony and other platform holders would be forced to remove the mega-popular sequel from digital storefronts, though we imagine it incredibly unlikely.
It’s worth noting, too, that Evans Jr. and Walker are both seeking to revise classifications for violent video games to encompass any where a player controls “a character within a video game that is encouraged to perpetuate human-on-human violence in which the player kills or otherwise causes serious physical or psychological harm to another human or an animal.”
Considering the track record for campaigns such as these, we imagine success is far from guaranteed, especially as this wouldn’t be the first (and sadly probably not the last) time that Grand Theft Auto V has been scrutinized and blamed for provoking violence. If recent results of academic studies are any indication, however, there still exists absolutely no evidence of a correlation between the two.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times