An additional 2,100 registered sex offenders have been removed from online gaming platforms in New York, attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman announced today through his website. The bannings are part of the “Operation: Game Over” initiative, which earlier this year removed more than 3,500 sex offenders from online networks in the state.
New York had the cooperation of five new game companies for its latest round of sex offenders purges, including THQ, Funcom, NCSoft, and Gaia Online. The fifth company was not named. These publishers join a growing list of firms agreeing to remove sex offenders from their online networks that includes Microsoft, Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive, Warner Bros., and Sony.
“The Internet is the crime scene of the 21st century, and we must ensure that online video game platforms do not become a digital playground for dangerous predators,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “That means doing everything possible to block sex offenders from using gaming systems as a vehicle to prey on underage victims.”
As part of New York’s Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP), convicted sex offenders must register all of their e-mail addresses, screen names, and similar identifiers for the purposes of limiting their access to certain online networks. Operation: Game Over represents the first time the law has been invoked relative to online gaming.