Illinois politician wants to ban Grand Theft Auto after a spike in Chicago auto thefts


February 23, 2021 ESA has issued a statement on proposed Illinois legislation.

A string of Chicago auto thefts over the past year, of course, has led some to point the finger at violent video games. Now, an Illinois legislator wants to amend a state restriction on the sale of violent games to minors to prohibit the sale of violent games to anyone and define descriptions of motor vehicle theft as violence.

Following the original publication of this article, a representative from the Entertainment Software Association, the largest trade association in the US gaming industry, approached with the following statement: “While our industry understands and shares concerns about What has been happening in Chicago, there is simply no evidence of a link between interactive entertainment and real-world violence. We believe that the solution to this complex problem lies in thoroughly examining the real factors that drive such behaviors rather than wrongly attributing the blame to video games based solely on speculation. “

The 2012 Illinois Penal Code restricts the sale of violent games to minors, with a $ 1,000 fine as punishment. Democratic State Representative Marcus Evans Jr. has filed HB3531, which would completely ban the sale of violent games. The bill would also modify the definition of “violent” to “include psychological harm and child abuse, sexual abuse, animal abuse, domestic violence, violence against women, or motor vehicle theft with a driver or passenger present inside the vehicle when it begins. the robbery . “

1,417 auto thefts were reported in Chicago in 2020, double the number that occurred a year earlier, as the Chicago Sun-Times reports. It’s been a big enough problem to jumpstart efforts like Operation Safe Pump, which has a private security company that posts guards at local gas stations as a deterrent.

“The bill would prohibit the sale of some of these games that promote the activities that we are experiencing in our communities,” Evans tells the Sun-Times. He adds that games like Grand Theft Auto have “become a big problem on this spectrum. When you compare the two, you see stark similarities when it comes to these vehicle thefts. “

The amendment would also repeal a section of the existing penal code that requires retailers to display a two-inch ’18’ tag on all violent games. (I have to assume that is disappearing because it was never enforced.)

We are in 2021 and here I am writing about efforts to ban violent video games. If you had told me for a decade that we would still be talking about politicians trying to blame video games for bigger problems, well… I guess I would have to believe you, because maybe nothing will really change.

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