Illinois state Rep. Marcus Evans Jr. has penned a bill seeking to ban the sale of violent video games like Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War to adults over a rise in violent crime.
A bill introduced to the Illinois General Assembly, HB3531, is intended to amend the Violent Video Games Law of 2012. Proposed changes to the law would restrict the sale or rental of all violent video games to minors and even prohibit the sale of all violent video games in general.
The bill’s amendments are as follows:
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 labeling of violent video games by video game retailers.
Evans introduced the bill in response to an increase in violent crime in the state of Illinois, especially in Chicago, where carjackings have been on the rise. In particular, Evans has blamed Grand Theft Auto V as the source of the problem.
“The bill would prohibit the sale of some of these games that promote the activities that we’re suffering from in our communities,” said Evans.
According to ComicBook.com, Evans worked with Operation Safe Pump founder Early Walker on the bill, who specified that GTA V is a problem.
“I feel like this game has become a huge issue in this spectrum. When you compare the two, you see harsh similarities as it relates to these carjackings,” said Walker.
GTA V is based on crimes that happen in the real world, and not the other way around. Previous efforts to ban video games have fallen flat in both Congress as well as state legislatures, including when former Sen. Hillary Clinton called on Congress to ban the sale of violent video games in the 2000s. Attempted bans have also faced massive backlash from the gaming press, which has since become immersed in the pursuit of social justice in video games.
The bill has gone through its first reading and has been referred to the state House Rules Committee.