A Chicago lawmaker has introduced a new bill that seeks to completely ban the sale or rental of violent video games. This bill, HB3531, seeks to amend the Violent Video Game Act in the Illinois Penal Code of 2012 to make it much more extreme.
The code currently states that violent video games cannot be sold or rented to minors, but the new bill seeks to prohibit the sale of video games to everybody. In addition, the bill seeks to change the definition of “violent video game” to the following:
“A video game that allows a user or player to control a character within the video game that is encouraged to perpetuate human-to-human violence in which the player kills or causes serious physical or psychological harm to another human or animal.”
The bill also wants to change the definition of “serious physical harm” to include “psychological harm and child abuse, sexual abuse, animal abuse, domestic violence, violence against women, or theft of motor vehicles with a driver or passenger present within the vehicle when the theft begins. “
The bill was introduced this week in the 102nd General Assembly by Illinois State Representative Marcus C. Evans, a Democrat who represents parts of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.
HB3531 has been referred to the Illinois General Assembly Rules Committee, which is comprised of three Democrats and two Republicans. No hearing date has been set for HB3531, according to the Illinois General Assembly website.
Evans told the Chicago Sun Times that he is introducing the bill in response to the rise in auto thefts in Chicago. “The bill would prohibit the sale of some of these games that promote the activities that we are experiencing in our communities,” he said.
A campaign called Operation Safe Bomb was formed, spearheaded by philanthropist Early Walker, in an attempt to prevent vehicle thefts by dispatching security personnel to the places where they could occur. Walker said he reached out to lawmakers in Chicago after noticing similarities between car thefts in video games and what is happening in the real world. “When you compare the two, you see stark similarities when it comes to these car thefts,” Walker told the Times.
Chicago had 218 car thefts in January alone. We will report more details on this bill as it progresses through the state legislature.