Thursday, April 5, 2012

Operation: Game Over

Before you start panicking no this not some plot by a hactivist group to take down anything on the internet, this is something much different. No, Operation Game Over is a new plan being set forth in conjunction with major video game companies and the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office to purge the online gaming world of Registered Sex Offenders who would try to utilize this new technology as a hunting ground for their new prey. So far this act has banned just over 3,500 gamers from playing games online. Now before you think this is just 1 or 2 companies just doing this for a PR stunt, let me first reiterate that's THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED GAMERS BANNED! 

Second that these companies are the big power players in the industry including  Microsoft, Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Warner Bros. and Disney Interactive Media Group. Just so we are clear that eliminates Xbox Live, World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Mass Effect 3, Mortal Kombat, and...whatever big online game Apple has (I don't know any). Those are some big games that now these...for lack of a better term evil-doers are now no longer going to be able to play. 

Now I'm not defending anyone here, I strongly believe that every child has the right to choose when to freely give up their innocence, and I despise anyone that partakes in these nefarious (fancy word go!) acts. I however must say that there is another party to blame for this problem. The PARENTS, yes the actual caregivers of these children have some bit of blame to bear in this discussion. If some parents took a little more time to actually pay attention to what their kids are doing online, and who they are socializing with online, then some of these situations can be prevented.

For a recent example from New York state a 19 year old man from Monroe County recently pled guilty to sexual assault charges after luring a 12 year old over to his apartment after chatting on Xbox Live. How did the kid get to this man's apartment? Did the parent's know (god forbid they actually drove him there)? Did they know about this man? If they had taken a few moments of their time to look in on their son playing their game of choice (or heck just listen if he was like most 12 years old on Xbox live) they might see something wrong with the situation and act accordingly.

I support the ESRBs rating system, and the enforcing of it, but in the end it needs to be the parents that take the time to know what their child is doing, its part of their job as a parent. If not then soon the image of Video Games will be tarnished and changed into something different than what it's supposed to be. I'm a young guy who looks forward to one day raising a couple kids and introducing them (at appropriate ages) to video games (as well as Star Wars, anime, and other wonderful thing), but I will watch them like a hawk and adjust what content they view/play as I see fit. 

So what do you guys think about this I'd love to know, as that is the point of the blog is to spark discussion. Leave a comment and follow if you like. I'm S.F. and you are in The Den, sit back, relax, and I'll see you next time.

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