Calls to ban popular video game after crime spike

Yahoo News Staff
·2-min read

A state politician is contemplating banning a popular video game in response to reports of carjackings spiking.

Illinois Representative Marcus Evans plans to introduce a bill in the state which would ban the sale of Grand Theft Auto, saying the video game has influenced a surge in carjackings in the area, WLS reported.

"Grand Theft Auto and other violent video games are getting in the minds of our young people and perpetuating the normalcy of carjacking," he said at a press conference.

"Carjacking is not normal and carjacking must stop."

On Facebook, Mr Evans said he was "supporting the vision" of his friend, Early Walker.

"Representative Evans and I have researched and concluded that these very young offenders of carjacking are greatly influenced by the Grand Theft Auto video game," Mr Walker said, according to WLS.

He had reached out to several legislators in the state when he observed a correlation between local incidents and actions players can make in the game, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Pictured is a person's hand reaching for a game controller.
A lawmaker in Illinois wants to ban Grand Theft Auto amid a surge in carjackings. Source: Getty Images

Mr Evans wants an existing law to be amended to ban video games from being sold to minors and have the definition of "violent video game" changed.

Chicago Police Department responded to more than 200 carjacking incidents in January this year, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The question on whether video games lead to violence has been around for a while and there is evidence to suggest video games do not trigger violent behaviour.

An Electronic Software Association spokesperson gave a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, saying there is no correlation between video games and real-life crime.

"While our industry understands and shares the concerns about what has been happening in Chicago, there simply is no evidence of a link between interactive entertainment and real-world violence," the statement said.

"We believe the solution to this complex problem resides in examining thoroughly the actual factors that drive such behaviours rather than erroneously ascribing blame to video games based solely upon speculation."

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