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“Operation: Game Over” deployed in New York, removes sex offenders from gaming networks

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman this week joined forces with Microsoft, Sony, and other online platform operators to ban or severely cripple over 3,580 gaming accounts tied to registered sex offenders within the state. The initiative, dubbed “Operation: Game Over”, represents the first time existing sex offender identification laws have been applied to video game networks.

"We must ensure online video game systems do not become a digital playground for dangerous predators. That means doing everything possible to block sex offenders from using gaming networks as a vehicle to prey on underage victims," said Schneiderman in his press release (via Joystiq). "I applaud all the companies participating in this first-of-its-kind initiative for taking online safety seriously and purging their networks of sex offenders. Together we are making the online community safer for our children, not allowing it to become a 21st century crime scene."

Though not listed specifically, Microsoft, Sony, and Apple's inclusion in Schneiderman's release indicate the database purge involved Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Apple's App Store. Other industry supporters include EA, Disney Interactive Media Group, Warner Brothers, and Blizzard Entertainment.

“At Microsoft, we continually evaluate ways to manage safety for our 40 million Xbox LIVE members and particularly for children on our service,” said Rich Walls, Microsoft's VP and Deputy General Counsel. “Our partnership with the Office of the New York Attorney General helps further this cause. By leveraging the online identity information all registered sex offenders are required to provide, we are able to help reduce potentially harmful situations. We're supportive of Attorney General Schneiderman's efforts to make the Internet, including online gaming environments like Xbox LIVE, safer for everyone.”

Given the amount of big league support behind Operation: Game Over, it could be only a matter of time before other states employ similar online measures. What do you think of the New York Attorney General's purge?

65 comments

  • D0CCON - April 9, 2012 6:11 p.m.

    I see this as a mostly good thing, but I'm reminded of a discussion I had in a business law class. In Wisconsin (and probably everywhere else), if an 18 year old has sex with their 17 year old boy/girlfriend and authorities find out, the 18-year-old is now a sex offender and must register as such. I wouldn't consider that particular sex offender to be a danger to children, much less do I think that person should lose access to XBL. Outside of cases like that though, I can't complain.
  • pr0tostar - April 9, 2012 8:01 a.m.

    No advocacy here for sex offenders,, but really this initiative just shouldn't have to exist. Parents should be keeping their children's online interactions in check, and if they cant... make em wait till they're adults to take their entertainment online. And who's to say these offenders wont just forward money to a friend or family member to maintain accounts? I think the industry should be looking to resolve more pressing matters such as cyber-bullying instead of enacting some shallow slap on the wrist to pedos. tldr I think it's redundant.
  • themedianerd - April 8, 2012 10:27 a.m.

    Im not in favor of this because the "sex offender" logo is now so fucking broad, a high school student, that has sex with a willing partner is now a sex offender. bull fucking shit! just because your registered, does not make you a pedophile! theirs a HUGE difference between a sex offender (some one who fuck in his/her age range), and pedophile (some one who fucks little kids)! this is basically saying, if I live in new york, and I grab a girls chest at a bar, because im drunk. she then reports me, I get registered, and now I dont get xbox live because im instantly a pedophile!?? does this make since to ANYONE!
  • MidianGTX - April 8, 2012 6:35 p.m.

    Stop grabbing the chests of underage girls, you creep. And get the hell off Live.
  • Cyberninja - April 8, 2012 7:38 p.m.

    you do know anyone at a bar wouldn't be underaged right?
  • Inthedistrict - April 17, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    In theory Cyberninja, yes - but unfortunately, her fake ID isn't going to protect you from going to jail regardless. For a law that can really screw a person over (no pun intended)and basically take away any form of a person's rights, from stories that I have heard, it sounds like there are some really bad double standards.
  • ParagonT - April 9, 2012 6:19 a.m.

    I think you make horrible examples, but I see where your coming from.
  • NullG7 - April 7, 2012 11:38 p.m.

    Who exactly will this affect is my question? Is it just the guy who molested children, or dose it also affect the 16 year old kid who had sex with his 16 year old girlfriend? Technically if found to have committed these acts in court they are both labeled sex offenders. Either way I'm not nessicerially sure its a good thing.
  • aberkromby - April 8, 2012 12:54 p.m.

    I think age of consent violation refers to someone over the age having sex with someone under (i.e. 18 year old kid having sex with his 17 year old girlfriend). That still obviously shouldn't group him with child molesters, but its definitely different than two 16 year olds goin at it.
  • forestfire55 - April 7, 2012 10:07 p.m.

    ... is it bad that i came here hoping to se a preview of a game called operation end game
  • forestfire55 - April 7, 2012 10:10 p.m.

    Um i ment game over... just forget i said anything...
  • ShadowMantis - April 7, 2012 8:04 p.m.

    Damn perverts..They're everywhere now,stay the hell off consoles that should be a safe place for kids and teens
  • Fraught - April 8, 2012 7:27 a.m.

    Who are you to say what "perverts" can do in their free time? Do you honestly think it's righteous to block people from engaging in a hobby they may enjoy, completely isolated from what they do outside of their room? I mean, I get it that it may help some cases from happening, and that's all well and good, but to use a cliché, this seems awfully Big Brother-ish. Though, okay, not with such severe punishment, but blocking them off something like that is still...eugh. I think if someone goes online, on Xbox Live or PSN or whatever, it's their own choice. It should be THEIR responsibility to not fall prey to sex offenders and other sorts of...sour folk.
  • aberkromby - April 8, 2012 12:58 p.m.

    ^What this guy said. Besides that, online gaming is pretty damn safe anyways. I've NEVER seen anything even remotely suspicious in an online game. This damn judge is creating crimes where none exist.
  • MidianGTX - April 8, 2012 6:39 p.m.

    Exactly. If perverts want to follow your daughter home from a safe distance and jerk off over the footprints she left in the beach, let them. If they want to collect the strands of hair brushed from her scalp and build a shrine with the fries she neglected to finish eating, good for them! If they'd then like to join a game of Halo she's in and tell your pure, innocent little girl that the thought of her hot, heaving breasts dripping sweat into their mouths causes blood to pump violently through their penis, who are we to say they can't?! Oh wait.
  • Cyberninja - April 8, 2012 7:46 p.m.

    Private matches exist if you are being an irrespoable parent who lets their "little girl" play M for Mature games like halo in the first place, if she is leagallly old enough to play halo, she should also be old enough and smart enough to call the police if they notice someone stalking them.plus at 17 I wouldn't describe an girl as pure, innocent, or little because they would know how the world opporates by then and how cruel it is.
  • ParagonT - April 9, 2012 6:22 a.m.

    I find your comment funny, but very misguided.
  • Inthedistrict - April 17, 2012 7:51 a.m.

    Yes, online consoles are a "safe place" for kids and teens. Mind you, I was playing BF3 the other day, and a kid sent me a message referring to me as the N-word simply because he thought I sucked at the game. Give me a break...safe environment for kids. If you want to turn your kid into a little shit breathing monster, set them up on xbox live.
  • lazer59882 - April 7, 2012 1:57 p.m.

    as a resident of NYC and someone who never plays games online, i see no problem at all with this. if i did play my games online then yeah, chances are i'd rather not be playing with a sex offender if i can help it. and since i'm not a sex offender myself, and these guys are generally sexually deviant assholes, i have no sympathy for them at all. sex offenders can't get jobs normally, they can't move into certain areas, they cant be near certain establishments, and this is just a natural extension of that. if you don't want to be treated like a sex offender....(drumroll please)....dont be a sex offender.
  • Dadyo238 - April 7, 2012 1:56 p.m.

    Good idea, but just one thing. They need to be SURE that who they are banning is a sex offender, because I don't want to be kicked off of PSN for something I didn't do.

Showing 1-20 of 65 comments

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