A Democratic lawmaker from Chicago’s South Side introduced a bill last week calling for a ban on some video games in an effort to combat the recent spike in violent crime in the city, including car thefts.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Representative Marcus Evans Jr. has called for an amendment to an existing law that would prohibit the sale of games depicting “motor vehicle theft with a driver or passenger present.”
Fox 32 reported that Early Walker, a city philanthropist, said video games such as “Grand Theft Auto” could have an impact on young minds. The report noted that some of the auto theft suspects in the city are not even old enough to drive legally.
Last month, a 14-year-old boy was arrested for participating in multiple car thefts, including one that involved an off-duty police officer, Chicago police said. Chicago police say auto thefts rose about 135% last year to 1,415 and continue at a high rate this year.
While the youngest car thief arrested in recent attacks was about 12 years old, according to police. Perpetrators often work in gangs and are motivated either by traveling or using the stolen vehicle to commit other crimes.
The report noted that the game has been “banned or censored” in other countries. The idea of the legislation is to prevent these games from being sold to children in the state.
A DePaul psychology professor told Fox 32 that these games could play some role in increasing violent outcomes, but they are probably not the only factor. Rockstar Games did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.