Being a registered sex offender in America kind of sucks. You have to tell your neighbours who you are, you can’t live near schools or parks or come within creeper range of them, and getting a job isn’t an easy task. Honestly, you’re best just staying home and playing video games.
Except in New York State, where now you can’t do that either. NY’s state attorney general, Eric T. Scheiderman announced yesterday that 3580 gaming accounts belonging to registered offenders have been closed or had their communication privileges revoked.
This was sparked by a recent court case in which a 19-year-old pleaded guilty to abusing a 10-year-old he first encountered on Xbox Live. Microsoft, Sony, Blizzard, EA, Warner Bros., Disney and Apple all complied with Scheiderman’s request to purge the networks.
While New York law has always demanded e-mail addresses and online aliases from convicted offenders, before now the information was never used in online gaming.
“Our industry welcomes appropriate efforts allowing people of all ages to play games in a safer environment,” said a spokesperson for the Entertainment Software Association.
“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.”
Now obviously this particular group of people may not garner much sympathy; but a line must be drawn somewhere. Do you think New York has gone too far, or is this account purge reasonable? Let us know your opinion in the comments.