Grand Theft Auto 5 once again finds itself at the center of the violent video game debate, as lawmakers push to ban its sale amid the rise of carjackings in Chicago. Rep. Marcus Evans Jr. is leading the charge, which includes a ban on the sale of video games that depict “psychological harm” and include “motor vehicle theft with a driver or passenger present.”
Specifically, Evans is hoping to amend a law from 2012 that prevents certain games from being sold to minors – paperwork was filed last week that would ban the sale of these violent games across the board, regardless of age.
The bill doesn’t just stop at banning the sale of violent video games, as it also seeks to redefine the definition of a violent video game to one in which players “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 animal.”
While Chicago carjacking statistics are concerning – the CPD responded to 218 in January alone – there’s little evidence video games are the cause of the uptick.
However, Evans is adamant that a video game ban will slow the rise of crime. “The bill would prohibit the sale of some of these games that promote the activities that we’re suffering from in our communities,” he said. “I feel like this game has become a huge issue in this spectrum,” Walker said. “When you compare the two, you see harsh similarities as it relates to these carjackings.”
Evans has taken other steps to curb crime in the Chicagoland area, including a Safe Pump program that sees additional security at gas stations in high-crime locations. The program recently expanded to Olympia Fields – a south Chicago suburb – and local officials are hopeful it will bring a halt to the recent surge in carjackings.
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Jon Bitner is an Associate Editor for TheGamer. His passion for gaming started with his first console (Sega Genesis) and he hasn’t stopped playing since. His favorite titles include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Team Fortress 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Pokémon Sword & Shield, Old School Runescape, Skyrim, and Breath of the Wild. He can usually be found playing the latest RPG, FPS, or some obscure mobile game. Before working as Associate News Editor, Jon earned a Biology degree and worked in the Biotechnology sector — experiences that taught him how to put words together and make sentences. When not playing or writing about the gaming industry, he enjoys sleeping, eating, and staring at birds.
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