An Illinois state representative wants to ban “violent” video games after an increase in carjackings.
State Representative Marcus Evans Jr. introduced a bill — HB3531, an amendment to the state’s Violent Video Games Law. The proposed HB3531 amendment has a worrying definition of “violent video games” that would effectively ban the sale of some of the world’s most popular games.
The bill in its synopsis states:
“Amends the Violent Video Games Law in the Criminal Code of 2012. Changes provisions that restrict 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 labelling of violent video games by video game retailers.”
The above definition will include almost every popular game in the market, irrespective of it being Multiplayer or Singleplayer. Although the state already has a law — 720 ILCS 5/12A-15 that restricts the sale of violent games to minors, Marcus Evans has proposed a change in this law that will effectively ban the sale of “violent video games” to anyone irrespective of age.
The bill was introduced after a local activist Early Walker pinned the cause to Chicago’s crime on violent video games. Walker cited Grand Theft Auto 5 as an example of violent video games and believes that banning the sale of such games would cause a crime reduction. Representative Evans Jr. agreed with Walker’s suggestion and introduced the bill to the Illinois General Assembly.