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Prohibiting sex offenders from playing video games may reduce the threat to children, but only slightly. If a predator is set on doing wrong, he or she won't be deterred by limits on a screen name. Parents need to get serious when it comes to monitoring their children's online behavior. The digital age has left many of them behind.
The accounts of 3,580 registered sex offenders in New York have been purged from online video game platforms. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced "Operation: Game Over" today, which blocks or limits access to multiple websites so offenders can't play games with people they don't know.
Schneiderman said the crackdown protects children from a "digital playground for dangerous predators." But in a statement, a spokeswoman for the New York Civil Liberties Union said, "While the intent here is admirable, schemes like this one do very little to keep children safe and trample on the right to free speech and expression." What do you say?
Should registered sex offenders be banned from playing online video games? Will "Operation: Game Over" protect children, or does it violate the right to free speech? How closely do you monitor your child's online activity?
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The intent is good, simply put you cannot trust some people. However, I would like to know many of the 3580 registered sex offenders met children on online video game platforms?
I think it will help but the parents or guardians should play a bigger roll in this. The temptation is out there unfortunately. AND NO I AM NOT ABOUT TO GIVE UP MY FREEDOM OF SPEECH. This woman should think before she speaks. We all understand about the free speech but does she ever put herself or any members of her family in these situations. Sometimes I think people like her should use a little common sense and not just make statements about free speech.
WHY AREN'T THESE SEX OFFENDERS IN JAIL?
Thank you John,
FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND EXPRESSION IS TRAMPLED UPON AFTER BEING A CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER? IF YOU ARE A REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER I COULD GIVE A RATS A$$ WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY OR EXPRESS. GAME OVER.
JOE, BAY TERRACE
Agree that it's certainly a wonderful idea to keep sex offenders off gambling sites. However, the law certainly doesn't go far enough. After all, there should really be registries for those convicted in violent crimes in general. After all, doesn't have the right to know that his/her neighbor committed murder or other violent crimes?
Sex offenders can't do any harm to any child on xbox live or ps3. You can block people, mute people, or just not play with them. These politicians are bored with their time. They need to spend more time reflecting on how oppressing they sound to the public getting on tv and talking about all the new ways they're cracking down on "crime."
It is notable that the only case mentioned in the Attorney General's press release is that of "Richard Kretovic, a 19-year-old man from Monroe County, [who] pled guilty to sexual abuse charges after meeting a 12-year-old boy on the popular online video game system Xbox LIVE." Mr. Kretovic was not a registered sex offender at the time of his crime, and this announced action would not have prevented his crime. Apparently, the Attorney General's office is unable to point to any incident in New York State where a registered sex offender victimized someone using a gaming network, or they would have mentioned it. I make it a point to stay on top of such things, and I have never heard of any such case.
The primary risk is not from offenders we know about but those we don't know about. In New York State, 95% of those arrested for sex crimes have no prior convictions for sex crimes and thus are not listed on any registry. Training workshops were held across New York State last week that were attended by hundreds of law enforcement officers, corrections officers, etc. Research presented there indicates that New York's sex offender management policies have not made our communities safer.
“Operation: Game Over” is made possible by New York's eSTOP law which requires registered sex offenders to report their e-mail addresses and other Internet identifiers. They are then excluded from Facebook and other networks. Of course, this also prevents them from posting the true facts about registered sex offenders and "Operation: Game Over" because many news and media outlets require Facebook accounts in order to post comments.
Who is playing the real games here?
If you don't want sex offenders playing games on xbox or playstation wii etc. Then you have to make it a law to have to use a creditcard verification to create an account! Or else your sex offender will just go to his or her local Retail store and buy an over the counter Gamer Card account. But the big box companys like the over the counter gamer card because hackers keep on buying them and that makes them money...
A.K.A. NEW YORK FEAR
Schneiderman is proving to be just the latest fascist to work for NY government. I’m with the ACLU 100% on this issue. But I would also say two things: If sexual activity wasn’t regulated and banned, if there was a free market in sex, there would be far fewer sex offenses. Ban sex for money and you’ll get lots more sex for a lot more money. Just like drug prohibition. Drug wars exist and drug prices are high solely because of government. Get the government out of drugs, legalize drugs and the drug war will end.
Second, it’s always, the children. Always the children used for some outright fascist regulation of adult activity. Childhood exists for a very short time in your life. Focusing on offenses against children and using this as a basis to regulate adult activity is grossly moronic.
Operation: Fascist Schneiderman should be shut down immediately.
Port Richmond, SI
I feel that Parents dont really stay informed on what they go out and buy for their kids. Games have ratings just like movies and kids really have no business playing certian games. A lot of parents use video game consoles,the computer and Tv as baby sitters for their kids and thats the problem in and of itself. This issue of Pedophiles online is no surprise to me a lot of Parents are just plain careless and want to blame the entertainment for it. But I say ban anyone proven to be a sex offender.
Ryan from Ft Greene Brooklyn
Another feel good, do-nothing move by politicians. Maybe if sex offenders received longer sentences then people who have minor amounts of marijuana there wouldn't be so many of them wandering around. On the flip-side, parents need to raise their kids, I wasn't allowed to use the house phone when I was growing up without scrutiny. People give their children technology and access to things I don't think either the parents or children fully understand.
We must do everything we can to protect our youngsters from sexual predators. They are relentless, and will do all they can for as long as they can to satisfy their sick desires.
The intent maybe admirable but this law and the exploitation of it by the politicians and the media gives pedophiles that are not registered instructions on how to find kids.
Parents need to be more involved.
Jeff in LES
Any high level registered sex offender who is willing to risk additional years, or even decades, in prison by recidivating will not be deterred by this policy and will use aliases and other means of concealing or anonymizing their identities to circumvent it.
However well-intentioned the law, and however effective it may be in making it more difficult for sexual predators to interact with potential victims, it's a little like placing armed fatigue-clad commandos in subway stations to deter terrorism. It's largely window dressing that lulls society into a false sense of security about a continuing threat, which is a danger in and of itself.
Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn
Yes. It won't protect them completely, but it will help. Many sex offenders are not permitted to go near children. Online games are a way of getting close to children. It makes sense to prohibit them from playing games that children play. There is no constitutional right to play online games. It is not free speech.
The truth is that while sex offenders are what they are the statistics show that very few are recidivists. These games are mostly rated "M" but anyone who partakes in online gameplay can attest to the fact that alot of these so called gamers are no where near "mature" , so while were striving to find a scapegoat and in no way is this exonerating sex offenders when do the parents take responsibility for what they allow their children to play online? When do the stores get chastised for letting grandpa buy lil johnny call of duty mw3? This can only be addressed at the system level implementing a form of age identification allowing companies to truly be able to control content and who is being allowed to partake in the nature of it.