New York removes sex offenders from online gaming services

The state of New York has removed its registered sex offenders from multiple online gaming services, as announced on Thursday by New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, reports Joystiq.

The program is called "Operation: Game Over," and has already purged or suspended the communication privileges of 3,580 accounts with the cooperation of Microsoft, Sony, Apple, Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Warner Bros. and Disney Interactive. While Xbox Live is the only gaming service that is called out by name in the press release, the other companies have online gaming services that are just as recognizable, including Sony's PlayStation Network, Blizzard's Battle.net, Electronic Arts' Origin, Apple's Game Center and more.

According to New York State law, convicted sex offenders have to register their online identifiers with the state, including all of their email addresses and screen names. This data is already used by "certain websites," such as online dating sites, to purge these potential predators from their databases. The press release claims that Operation: Game Over is the first time the law has been applied to online video games.

"We must ensure online video game systems do not become a digital playground for dangerous predators. That means doing everything possible to block sex offenders from using gaming networks as a vehicle to prey on underage victims," Attorney General Schneiderman said. "I applaud all the companies participating in this first-of-its-kind initiative for taking online safety seriously and purging their networks of sex offenders. Together we are making the online community safer for our children, not allowing it to become a 21st century crime scene."

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4 Comments

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"banning them from online gaming hardly seems like a positive accomplishment."

From every encounter I've ever had with a true sexual predator, and I'm talking about those that molest, rape, etc. THEY CAN NOT BE FIXED. I've even talked with people that have explained "that they don't believe that what they did was wrong" when they raped a 6 year old girl, or people that I know quite well that raped their own daughter that still try to get other people's kids to sit on their laps claiming that 12 years in prison "fixed them" but I still see their entire attitude change when they are near kids.

No, I highly disagree. Ban those child molesters and sexual offenders from every game that ANY child would be allowed to play online.

+1 to New York.

Kelxin said,
"banning them from online gaming hardly seems like a positive accomplishment."

From every encounter I've ever had with a true sexual predator, and I'm talking about those that molest, rape, etc. THEY CAN NOT BE FIXED. I've even talked with people that have explained "that they don't believe that what they did was wrong" when they raped a 6 year old girl, or people that I know quite well that raped their own daughter that still try to get other people's kids to sit on their laps claiming that 12 years in prison "fixed them" but I still see their entire attitude change when they are near kids.

No, I highly disagree. Ban those child molesters and sexual offenders from every game that ANY child would be allowed to play online.

+1 to New York.

1) online gaming can happen among adults

2) when using netflix, amazon streaming, hulu, espn3, spotify, etc., you need a PSN or XBLGold account -- I'm hard pressed to find ways for them to be predatory using these services.

3) As I pointed out, yes there are some very very very ****ed up people in this world who, I agree, don't think they do anything wrong; that said, a great number of "sex offenders" are people who really didn't do anything wrong per se, but some judge found it "naughty" (like sexting your gf/bf in school). These people are not predators, and yet are lumped into the same classification.

On the surface it sounds like of "YaY", and I really hate to defend some ****ed up people, but if they were just gaming and not being predatory, AND have already "paid their debt to society", then it's kind of ****ed up to ban then from simple online services while attempting to reacclimate with society.

Also, take into account the many non-predatory ways you can be arrested and/or charged as a sex offender, such as a 17-year old consensually banging his 15-year old girlfriend and getting caught by her dad, sexting, or being caught with a pornographic book.

soniqstylz said,
On the surface it sounds like of "YaY", and I really hate to defend some ****ed up people, but if they were just gaming and not being predatory, AND have already "paid their debt to society", then it's kind of ****ed up to ban then from simple online services while attempting to reacclimate with society.

Also, take into account the many non-predatory ways you can be arrested and/or charged as a sex offender, such as a 17-year old consensually banging his 15-year old girlfriend and getting caught by her dad, sexting, or being caught with a pornographic book.

Definitely, the craziest thing is you can become a sex offender for possessing explicit drawings, e.g. hentai. But yeah.. even for the people who truly are sexually unhinged, banning them from online gaming hardly seems like a positive accomplishment.