The bill would place a ban on all violent video games being sold across Illinois
Chicago has a well-documented problem with carjacking. So much so that one Illinois legislator is now proposing a bill that seeks to amend Chicago’s 2012 law preventing the sale of violent video games to minors and instead enforce a statewide ban prohibiting the sale of all violent video games.
Democratic Rep. Marcus Evans Jr introduced the bill this month, which can now be seen on the Illinois General Assembly website listed as HB3531.
The summary reads “Amends the Violent Video Games Law in the Criminal Code of 2012. Changes provisions that restricts the sale or rental of violent video games to minors to prohibit the sale of all violent video games.”
It continues to state that the law would modify the definition” of “violent video game” and “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 comes as concern grows over the increased rate of carjacking in the city. The Chicago Sun-Times reported 218 incidents of carjacking in Chicago to police in January and many attribute the spike to games like Grand Theft Auto that supposedly encourage such activity.
The Grand Theft Auto series is one of the most commercially successful games in history with an estimated gross revenue of over $9 billion which puts it at the fourth-highest selling video game franchise of all time.
In a statement, Electronic Software Association (ESA) contradicted the proposed bill claiming that it was based on speculation and arguing that there is no evidence to support any connection between games like Grand Theft Auto and the spike in Chicago carjackings.
“While our industry understands and shares the concerns about what has been happening in Chicago, there simply is no evidence of a link between interactive entertainment and real-world violence. We believe the solution to this complex problem resides in examining thoroughly the actual factors that drive such behaviors rather than erroneously ascribing blame to videogames based solely upon speculation” the statement read.
Chicago already imposes a $1,000 fine on retailers who are caught selling violent video games to minors but the new bill is yet to be voted on.
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