Sex offenders banned from online games

Microsoft, Sony, Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and more agree to remove New York's registered sex offenders from their online gaming networks.

New York is dropping the banhammer on registered sex offenders. The state's attorney general, Eric T. Scheiderman, today announced that 3,580 online accounts belonging to sex offenders have been struck from online gaming networks--or at least had their communication privileges revoked--as part of "Operation: Game Over."

AG Scheiderman at an unrelated press conference from last month.

The state had cooperation from Microsoft, Sony, Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Warner Bros., Disney, and Apple, all of whom agreed to the account purge. New York requires that convicted sex offenders register all of their e-mail addresses, screen names, and similar identifiers for the purposes of limiting their access to certain online networks. This is the first time the law has been invoked relative to online gaming.

The attorney general said that sexual predators have been using voice and text chat in online gaming services to find and arrange meetings with underage victims. Earlier this month, a 19-year-old Monroe County man pled guilty to sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy he met through Xbox Live.

"At Microsoft, we continually evaluate ways to manage safety for our 40 million Xbox Live members and particularly for children on our service," Microsoft VP and deputy general counsel Rich Wallis said in a statement accompanying the attorney general's announcement. "Our partnership with the Office of the New York Attorney General helps further this cause."

When asked for comment, an EA representative told GameSpot, "This was an [Entertainment Software Association] initiative; EA is a member."

An ESA representative then commented on the program, saying, "Our industry welcomes appropriate efforts allowing people of all ages to play games in a safer environment. Online gameplay with friends is a social experience and we encourage parents to be aware of what games their children are enjoying and with whom they are interacting in the virtual space. Through the use of robust parental controls and awareness of the online world, playing games online can be a fulfilling and rich experience."

Inquiries as to which companies were able to simply limit communication functions and which purged entire accounts were not returned as of press time.

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Discussion

199 comments
StarOcean2087
StarOcean2087

Do something like this for Florida! Me and a whole bunch of people just left the Champions of Light guild on the Whisperwind server (alliance faction) after it came to light that their GM Twigglet IS a sexual Predator. Sexual offenders and predators shoudn't be allowed online period. Thsi guy has no business being on WoW! He's got YOUNG CHILDREN in his guild. GOOD LORD!

 

Proof of what I said is here: http://w11.zetaboards.com/ValiantCrusaders/single/?p=8066694&t=8207844

 

Links within are to PUBLIC information.

dman123_1
dman123_1

I like how they make sexual child abuse the focal point of sexual offenders.

J_Money-MOB
J_Money-MOB

Although I agree with most people on here that this new enactment seems too excessive, I say it is still generally a good idea. I know that there are people who are on the list because they were "at the wrong place at the wrong time", but its not everyone on that list. Its like in the Marines when they run the crucible. Either everyone makes the cut, or no one does at all. Its a shame that (mostly) innocent people on the sex offenders list can't play online games now. But they just have to deal with it people. Its not their fault, its the real sex offenders out there that chat up dumb boys and girls who are even dumber to go out and meet these perverts in public. Yes its parents to blame as well, but yes these pedophiles and rapists need to to be held in check. I say its not taking away more from their freedom, its just another price to pay when you do a gross and vile crime. End of story.

Reaverking
Reaverking

@Gen007 These people aren't innocent and its much better to ban some predators than none at all. These people dont need to be defended. They dont need you to be their Knight in shining armor. Using online services make it easier for these s**tbags to find and hurt people.

1337hackz
1337hackz

This is absolutely ridiculous you can get there are so many sex offenders who did hardly anything. like peeing in an alley or something. People act like every sex offender has raped a child. If your kid is dumb enough to meet a guy in public then you should let him play xbox live.

Gen007
Gen007

A kid dumb enough to fall victim to a predator on an online service shouldn't have been using it in the first place. Once again parents are trying to use laws so that they can try to raise their kids on autopilot. That same kid has bigger problems i mean if a stranger offers him some candy on the street hes screwed. I think its overkill to ban sex offenders from the online services and non effective as well simply for the fact that you cant catch em all. There will always be predators online and that will only get worse as time goes on. Rather than trying to eliminate the predators people should be teaching their kids how to protect themselves. I knew at a very young age what the deal was and my parents made sure i knew.This also seems like a violation of freedom and privacy too for those people. I mean a person even a convicted sex offender should be able to go play on say live if they want to maybe they actually just want to play games ya know. Dont let me get started on the imperfect justice system that sees many innocent people wrongly convicted.

Reaverking
Reaverking

@bakagami I understand what your saying. I have a friend who is a sex offender because who took a piss outside and a 13 year old girl saw him do it. It sucks that some people get the label when they dont really deserve it. But if it blocks true sex offenders then its better this way. Sacrifice the few for the many.

bakagami
bakagami

@Reaverking Problem is not everyone on that list is a rapist or pedophile. You can get on that list simply by making an inappropriate advance on the wrong person. It can happen to anyone. You are right that we need to keep the true predators from temptation, but there needs to be more distinction between the different types of so called "sex offenders"

Reaverking
Reaverking

@kid23455 We let people out of jail because we believe they're better. That doesn't mean we should let them use services that could make them want to do something like it again. Just because a drug addict says he is better doesn't mean you give him the tools to ruin his life again. In the case of a rapist or pedophile your giving them the tools to harm others. Its better to protect people this way then to wait and see if the sex offender will assault someone again.

bakagami
bakagami

this is really disturbing. Like many here have pointed out, its not that hard to get railroaded. I know 2 people myself. One of which is on the list for the actions of his father. It is the modern day witch hunt and this initiative is just one more way that we are alienating these people. Besides, if this group is being singled out then who's next?

Fernin-Ker
Fernin-Ker

Considering some of the things that can get you on that sex offenders list (for example one of my old room mates is on it for calling his old boss a b*tch, which she successfully pressed a sexual harassment lawsuit for) this is serious over kill. Considering that just BEING on the list for any possible reason makes you automatically a child molesting rapist in the eyes of the stab happy watch dog moms in many neighborhoods and the harassment that goes along with it, this is just another slap to add to a system many already abuse and misuse to ruin people's reputations.Not to mention ability to find work and housing.

grove12345
grove12345

Wow these laws are turning sex offenders into future murderers. Completely shunning them from any public interaction and any chance of becoming normal. No jobs, cant live in certain areas, cant be within like a mile of some areas. Marked for life Weird how we dont do that to car thieves or murderers. Sad thing is you dont actually got to be a sexual predator to be on the sex offenders list. You 18 and in highschool and having sex with another senior whos 17? Thats illegal in some states, sex offender. Now your f'ed the rest of your life.

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

It's kind of hard to defend people like 'sex offenders', but at the same time I think this is excessive. If we know who sex offenders are, we know that they were already caught and punished so why go the extra mile here? They're already being monitored, aren't they? And besides, half the people on live and online are a-holes, vulgar, and offensive people who may as well be sex offenders. Most of them can defend themselves verbally. And another thing. If people who urinate in 'public' still count as sex offenders, I think we oughta cut those people a break. Half these time these idiots are drunk and I feel like a fourth of Live is at the very least buzzed.

hiroichi
hiroichi

this is horrible and shouldn't happen, keeping on punishing people even after their sentence has been served only helps keeping them in a place where they don't feel rehabilitated

famekiller
famekiller

i agree with Animatronic.... parents should be aware if their 10 year old kid is getting chatted up by ANYONE. Sicko's will always be around looking for kicks. It's impossible to stop these creeps, but parents need to be 100% responsible for their own! I certainly would be.

Animatronic64
Animatronic64

@scratchisme Well, I don't know about other kids, but my parents taught me better than that. I'd most likely blame the parents if some kid just gave out personal information to a sex fiend over an online game. That usually happens because of irresponsible parenting. I'm willing to bet not nearly enough kids are warned of the dangers of the Internet. That's the problem.

scratchisme
scratchisme

@Animatronic64 Adults maybe but can you really expect that of children?

beardednun25
beardednun25

@Zackarias-313 I admire your conviction, and your solution IS simple, but there is the small matter of the moral instincts that most people seem to possess.....

Zackarias-313
Zackarias-313

My solution to this is simple: Execute rapist and child molesters once proven guilty, save tax payers money by doing so, and as a result completely avoid debates such as this instead of debating whether sex offenders should be allowed connect to a younger audience through social meduims such as facebook, psn or whatever else can potentially put them into contact with children. Seriously folks, what's next? Are we gonna debate whether or not sociopaths and serial killers should be allowed to play video games? lol Once they're guilty of being such a thing, they should be disposed of accordingly (although the Death Penalty gets religious folks all wound up, resulting in our government trying to protect the offenders instead of giving resolution to the victims and their families). 'nuff said...

kid23455
kid23455

@Reaverking I figured that wouldn't be a popular thing to say, we're supposed to make intelligent informed decisions, that aren't based on revenge, or how society feels about them, or what the victim would want. Child molestation is a crime, just like any crime. We also believe that people learn from their mistakes and aren't going to make them again. That's why we let them out of jail. If you don't believe in that then we might as well execute everybody who commits any crime on the spot or lock them in prison for life.

masakri50
masakri50

@Animatronic64 they do have something like that. It's called the esrb rating system. If you're old enough to buy an M or T rated game you generally have enough sense to not do anything so stupid that could put you in a compromising position, such as getting offended sexually. So it does come back to parents. Young kids don't have any common sense and apparently their parents don't either. That being said I too am not for sex offenders but I am against the government making so many laws that I break 3 when I head to the bathroom for my morning piss.

csward
csward

I don't care for sex offenders, but come on. All of them banned on one incident? This sounds like a political crusade to sway the tech adverse. I mean, the average gamer nowadays is 37..

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

well good lets keep the filthy pigs from doing anything on games im for that^^ but only for ppl that have hurt kids and bad stuff not for ppl that got on the list for maybe peeing on a wall n stuff on a side note why was a 10 year old playing xbox live i see a prob there and i put the blame on the kids parents. do parents know how much bad stuff happens over xbox live or psn cussing ect thats only haf. on xbox live thay got a game called uno yes we all know that fun card game. well take it online and ppl use there cams and it turns into xx uno iv seen ppl flash and yes ppl start to have sex nasty had to leave the room i use to kill time on there with buddys waiting for DLC and or other stuff not anymore bottom line and my point online gameing is not for kids parents the ESRB dose not rate online gameing

NEStosterOWN
NEStosterOWN

Whether you are for sex offenders or not, they exist and it's not pleasant. You just don't see them because thanks to the internet, they are at home instead of running the streets. Think about that. These people will always find a way to get their fill. And doing this won't change much. PARENTS need to step up and take parenting more SERIOUSLY! Get and STAY involved with their kids because their attention is short. If you don't keep them busy, they'll find something to do just that. So for everyone who wants to have kids, if you're not ready to step up your game and play less video games online... WEAR PROTECTION AND DO LIKE YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE LOSING A MATCH... PULL OUT!

Reaverking
Reaverking

@kid23455 Thats the dumbest thing I've read in a while. You must be a rapist.

CeaselessDisco
CeaselessDisco

This sounded like a good idea at first, but everyone here is right: The category is too wide, a 16 year old branded for life for having sex with a 15 year old, next to a rapist man, both branded in the same category. This should be for anyone with a higher ranking crime, but I think they should be more watched over, not straight out banned. Anyway, the system always falls in some parts.

PlusFour
PlusFour

To be fair this kind of crap could be avoided if parents monitored their children better. Set up a password and use the parenting controls. While we're at it ban kids from games if they don't meet the age requirements of that game.

--Rob--
--Rob--

"Operation: Game Over" LOL, I love it. If we are being serious though, @somthinstupid makes a good point on the shortcoming of this bill. This would be much simpler if we would just put true child predators in the ground where they belong.

Randal__Graves
Randal__Graves

Kids shouldn't be allowed to play online games to begin with. Kinda gets annoying to have to hear a little squeaking voice blurt out sexual and racial comments every 5 seconds.

kid23455
kid23455

So now we're punishing people not for what they have done, but what they COULD do. If you're old enough to play these games, then you should know better than to talk to strangers, if you're not, than your parents should be monitoring you. These perverts have done what's required of them already, the game companies have no right to punish them further, as easy as it is to say screw pedophiles because of society's hatred for them.

Jimi_13
Jimi_13

I'm not for sex offenders, I feel deeply for the victims. but I don't hate a person because they have a problem they haven't had the strength or guidance from God to fix. I think serious offenders should be banned so they don't get jollies off of kids or something. But, I feel for the 18 year old dude that got in trouble for being with his 16 year old women probably shouldn't be banned. I guess the law just needs a review to allow a certain number of years between the couple and if it is consensual or not.

Animatronic64
Animatronic64

Stupid people should be banned from online games. If you're dumb enough to get lured in by a sex offender through some online game, you have no business playing online games.

jrmorgan23
jrmorgan23

@Khasym here's a more likely scenario. You're a 16 year old boy with a 15 year old girlfriend. her parents catch both of you naked fooling around and subsequently have you arrested for statutory rape. You are now brandished as a sex offender for x number of years, possibly life. Thank god you can't play COD anymore, that would be terrible.

jrmorgan23
jrmorgan23

@sandmanccl THANK YOU!!! also in NY, soon anyone convicted of a misdemeanor will have to submit a DNA sample to the state's database. Take a look at misdemeanors in NY and tell me that each and every one of them is a violent crime deserving of a DNA sample. I'm betting that they will take the sample as soon as you are arrested, then promise to destroy it if you are not convicted. Yeah ok im sure they will. So glad I moved away.

jrmorgan23
jrmorgan23

granpire - i think you are forgetting that freedom of speech is severely limited. there are no "public" forums, they are owned by someone, who has the right to silence who they want. even facebook can silence you if they so desire, and that does not infringe on your rights. You are welcome to create your own website and post what you want. But remember, freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequence. you can't yell fire in a crowded movie theater if there is no fire. There are countless examples, and posting on gamespot or any other forum does not grant you freedom to say anything you want with no repercussions.

jrmorgan23
jrmorgan23

I hope none of you 16 yr olds ever get caught having sex with your 15 yr old girlfriend, say goodbye to online gaming. I hope none of you husbands who are falsely accused of child molestation during divorce/custody proceedings enjoy online gaming. I fully agree that TRUE sex offenders, child pedophiles and rapists, should be castrated publicly then executed. Unfortunately these broad blankets are tossed over undeserving people on a daily basis. NY is becoming the California of the east.

Hirasugi
Hirasugi

@supertom221 First off, under no circumstance should an adult harass a child and it being considered justified. Regardless of if the child was the one trolling is of little consequence. We are adults! Therefore we need to act like one Personally I think its unfair to bar anyone's speech from a public forum, however sex-offenders also have their housing restricted, their privacy, their purchases, among others that I'm not even aware of. This development is just an extension of this: limited possible incidences. Personally I think the issue would be solved by having bars set up to allow sex-offenders to play with individuals 18 and up and restricting their PM capabilities, but of course the logistics to complete such a task would be difficult. The truth of the matter is society is willing compromise the rights of the criminal in order to limit the abuse of the innocent. I think there is a middle ground, in which case this measure is too heavy handed. But there will be some form, as there should be. The only issue is finding the right balance.

supertom221
supertom221

@Hirasugi Yes, you are. Say I was a sex offender, okay, I said some bad words (honestly I think this is a pathetic excuse. "Oooh words cut deeper than words". A made-up statement by pantsies if you ask me.), allright, I regret it, or not regretting it, whatever. But you can't take my right to play away. It is opressing my freedom of speech by not letting me say whatever I want on a PUBLIC forum. You shouldn't blame an adult for harassing a kid... Well, not JUST the adult. You should also blame irresponsible parents for letting their kids play M-rated games. And as for the men VS women argument, this is totally taken out of proportions. "Go make me a sammich, sl0t" -- Heartbreaking, truly =___="

Granpire
Granpire

I'm fully against sex crimes, but wow. So much for second chances. I actually know a former sex offender. I'll not go into detail, but the person regrets their actions and would never do something like that again. They aren't a gamer, but I don't agree that everyone should still be punished for things they have done in the past. I get it. Sometimes, the system doesn't work, and people go back to their crimes. But when you limit a person's freedoms based on something they may have done 20 years ago, there's something wrong. There are already dozens of things sex offenders can't do, and taking away their ability to play online games for life is a little much.

Hirasugi
Hirasugi

@supertom221 ummm...your freedom of speech is infringed upon because sex offenders are being barred from playing online? Am I missing something?

sandmanccl
sandmanccl

Also, I'm just looking through the rest of the comments now: I don't think most of you guys really know what a "sex offender" is. Everyone assumes it's rapists and child molesters, but that is actually a very small segment of who is registered as a sex offender. You can get registered as a sex offender for urinating in public, streaking at a sporting event in which children are present in the audience, getting caught having sex in the back of a car anywhere that isn't private property, etc. I'm not condoning that behavior, but I think lumping a drunk guy pissing on a wall in with those who maliciously prey on children is too much, too far.

sandmanccl
sandmanccl

At first I thought, "Cool," then I started thinking about the repercussions of this. I know of two guys here in Utah who are "registered sex offenders" because they pulled a stupid childish prank at the age of 16 and went streaking after a high school football game. Literally, they are on the registered sex offenders list for life because of a youthful indiscretion of what is a stupid but harmless prank. If they were to get banned from online gaming networks because of this now, I would be pretty upset. If the person is a known child molester or a rapist, then I'm all for having their online privileges restricted. However, the law doesn't have different groupings of "sex offenders" so this giant banhammer is frightening to me.

Madgnad
Madgnad

@Sheepofevilz I was just making a point that this decision is kinda dumb. No one can stop them from banning them and personally I don't care since it doesn't effect me, but if they want to ban the sex offenders from online gameplay they might aswell ban the murderers too. (More of a joke than anything.)

Sheepofevilz
Sheepofevilz

@Magnad Murderers SHOULD play CoD instead of murdering actual people, and sex offenders I'd much rather have them playing games online than being out in the world preying on people.

Madgnad
Madgnad

@ryukoken6791 If someone is caught urinating in public they can be registered as a sex offender. I think that is what Chefjase was referring to. Not the rapist and child molester ones.

Madgnad
Madgnad

And yet murderers can still play cod.

Sheepofevilz
Sheepofevilz

Why wouldn't you want them ONLINE instead of OUTSIDE? Seriously, ban them from OUTSIDE, keep them ONLINE is a much better idea.