The debate about whether video games cause violence or not has been raging on for the past couple of decades. Indeed, our forums contain multiple threads about the topic dating back to 2004 and polls created in 2013. While the general consensus is that there is little to no correlation between violent video games and real-world violence, from time to time, we see people contesting this topic. Back in 2010, the push for California to ban the sales of violent video games to youngsters even hit the U.S. Supreme Court.
Now, a Chicago lawmaker has proposed a bill to ban the sale of all violent video games due to rise in carjackings in the area.
Under the current Violent Video Games Law in the Criminal Code of 2012, only the sale of violent video games to minors is prohibited. However, Democratic Rep. Marcus Evans Jr. intends to amend this law and ban sale to everyone in the state of Illinois as part of his HB3531 bill. The summary for the bill reads:
Amends the Violent Video Games Law in the Criminal Code of 2012. Changes provisions that restricts the sale or rental of violent video games to minors to prohibit the sale of all violent video games. Modifies the definition of "violent video game" to mean a video game that allows a user or player to control a character within the 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. Modifies the definition of "serious physical harm" 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 the theft begins. Makes conforming changes, including repealing a Section concerning the labeling of violent video games by video game retailers.
The bill was first submitted by the representative on February 19 and had its first reading on February 22. It is currently under consideration by the Rules Committee.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Rep. Marcus Evans Jr. proposed the new bill due to the rise in carjackings in the area. Apparently, similarities were observed between real-life carjacking attempts and those carried out in video games. It remains to be seen whether the bill will be passed as a law but it is currently getting a lot of backlash from the community.