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Lawmaker Wants To Ban Violent Video Games Like GTA 5 Amid Rise In Carjackings

In response to a spike in carjackings, a lawmaker in Chicago is trying to ban the sale of violent video games completely.


A lawmaker in Chicago has put forth a new bill that seeks to ban the sale or rental of violent video games completely. This bill, HB3531, seeks to amend the Violent Video Games Law in the state of Illinois' Criminal Code of 2012 to make it much more extreme.

The code currently states that violent video games cannot be sold or rented to minors, but the new bill seeks to ban the sale of violent video games to everyone. Additionally, the bill seeks to change the definition of "violent video game" to the following:

"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."

The bill also wants to change 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."

The bill was introduced this week into the 102nd General Assembly by Illinois state representative Marcus C. Evans, a democrat who represents parts of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.

HB3531 has been referred to the Illinois General Assembly's Rules Committee, which is made up of three democrats and two republicans. A hearing date has not been set for HB3531, according to the Illinois General Assembly website.

Evans told the Chicago Sun Times that he is introducing the bill in response to the rise in carjackings in Chicago. "The bill would prohibit the sale of some of these games that promote the activities that we're suffering from in our communities," he said.

A campaign called Operation Safe Pump spearheaded by philanthropist Early Walker was formed in an attempt to prevent carjackings by sending in security personnel to places where they might occur. Walker said he reached out to lawmakers in Chicago after noticing similarities between carjackings in video games and what's happening in the real world. "When you compare the two, you see harsh similarities as it relates to these carjackings," Walker told the Times.

Chicago had 218 carjackings in January alone. We'll report back with more details on this bill as it progresses through the state legislature. The ESA has since responded, pointing out there is no established link between violent video games and real violence.

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