Every year a politician picks out the evil video games as the cause of real crimes. Once again, it’s GTA’s turn, along with other games, this time due to increasing car thefts.
The fact that video games are scapegoated is nothing new. Often enough, shooters in particular had to serve when it came to rampage. Now the rapidly increasing number of car thefts in Chicago has put a politician back on the warpath. Illinois State Representative Marcus C Evans Jr is currently calling for a law change. Illinois currently has a policy that restricts the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. Evans is now calling for a general ban on the sale of video games with violent content, specifically targeting titles like Grand Theft Auto.
At the same time, Evans would like to tighten the definition of violence in video games so that all forms of physical and psychological violence against humans or animals would be included. This would include vehicle theft, even if a driver or passenger were involved at the beginning of the theft. The Entertainment Software Association immediately countered with a statement that there was no evidence that there was a connection between interactive and real violence. Rather, one should look at the real causes of real violence instead of speculatively condemning video games.
Evans advance does not have much chance of success anyway. The lawyer Jack Thompson, who for a long time led a regular campaign specifically against GTA, had to recognize this. The state of California even went all the way to the Supreme Court, but had to take a beating because video games, like other media, fall under the 1st Amendment to the United States’ Constitution.