The New York attorney general’s office and a slew of gaming companies (including Blizzard, Sony and Microsoft) have joined forces to block thousands of convicted sexual predators from participating in online gaming. The campaign, known as “Operation: Game Over” utilizes a law that is already in place that requires sexual predators to register all online aliases with the state. This information is then used to restrict the access of these individuals on specific game related networks, thus eliminating the potential for young gamers to find themselves in a dangerous situation.
This is a great step in the right direction and other states need to follow suit as with the growth of the industry comes deviant opportunists looking for easy means of exploitation. That being said, a lot of these issues could be prevented if sexual offenders actually stayed in jail for much longer periods of time though this thing we call freedom tends to make it difficult for real justice to prevail.
I don’t have kids myself, but I do work with them and I can’t stress enough to parents how important it is for you to be an active participant in your child’s gaming. Not only do you need to know what kind of games your children are playing but who they’re playing those games with. Additionally, it’s very important to report suspected predatory behavior to your local police department or The Center for Missing and Exploited Children as opposed to merely ushering your children away from the threat.