A Chicago lawmaker proposed a bill that would ban violent video games altogether, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Democratic representative Marcus Evans Jr. introduced the ban after a rise in carjackings in Chicago. Those are, according to the politician, caused by violent video games like Grand Theft Auto.
Chicago to ban violent video games?
The law would amend an existing rule that prohibits the sale of violent video games to minors. The proposed amendment reads:
Amends the Violent Video Games Law in the Criminal Code of 2012. Changes provisions that restrict the sale or rental of violent video games to minors to prohibit the sale of all violent video games.
Additionally, the law would alter the interpretation of the concept of a ‘violent video game’. The bill would consider any game where a gamer can ‘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’ as a violent video game. With that definition, literally any shooter, fighting game, and RPG would presumably become illegal.
If there were any correlation between violent video games and carjackings, you wouldn’t be able to drive anywhere without getting robbed. There are 2.7 billion gamers worldwide (via Statista), just under half of all Americans game in some form, especially with mobile shooters becoming more common. Yet, only Chicago seems to be affected by a recent uptick of carjackings.
Furthermore, no other country on our planet links real-world violence to the consumption of games (source: APN). And that’s the kicker; There is absolutely no scientific proof that suggests playing violent games causes real-world violence. Studies and meta-studies have shown time and time again that “long-term impacts of violent games on youth aggression are near zero.”
As of writing, the bill hasn’t been voted on. And for the sake of our fellow gamers residing in Chicago, we sure hope that the bill doesn’t pass.