Gamers regularly interact with strangers online, creating a portal for sexual predators to reach kids via Xboxes and PlayStations. How is it that these channels weren’t closed to sex offenders sooner?
On Thursday, the state of New York finally decided to close the online game accounts of over 3,500 registered sex offenders and will further ensure children’s safety with weekly updates from the sex-offender registry. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman described online gaming as a “digital playground,” which provides methods of access to children that sex predators would not otherwise be able to establish. New York now requires sex offenders to submit their e-mail addresses and gamer ID’s so the state can keep track of their gaming activity and keep them off of online gaming channels.
New York is the first state to ban sexual predators from online gaming, though not all game companies have agreed to follow suit. So far, the attorney general says the following game companies closed their online gaming activities to sex predators – Microsoft, Sony, EA, Warner Brothers, Disney Interactive Media Group, Blizzard, and Apple. Will it perhaps take hordes of parents, kicking and screaming, to get other companies to ban sex offenders from online gaming interactions, or will other companies do so of their own accord?
KitGuru says: We are grateful strides are being made to protect children and keep games a safe, positive, and fun experience. We only hope that similar actions will be made by other companies and in online gaming interactions around the world!