State representative Marcus C. Evans Jr. has introduced a bill that aims to ban the sale of Grand Theft Auto and other similarly violent video games following an increase in carjackings in Chicago and elsewhere in the state of Illinois. The proposed legislation was spotted by the Chicago Sun Times, which noted that HB3531 would amend a preexisting law passed in 2012 that already prevents certain video games from being sold to minors. Evans’ new bill, if implemented, would ban the sale of video games depicting “psychological harm,” including “motor vehicle theft with a driver or passenger present,” to any and all individuals.
“The bill would prohibit the sale of some of these games that promote the activities that we’re suffering from in our communities.” Evans said.
Evans was prompted to introduce his bill after being contacted by Early Walker, who had started a private security effort dubbed “Operation Safe Pump” to combat carjackings at gas stations in Chicago.
“I feel like this game has become a huge issue in this spectrum,” Walker said. “When you compare the two, you see harsh similarities as it relates to these carjackings.”
Chicago Sun Times also clarified that the bill changes the definition of a “violent video game” to one in which players “control a character within the video game that is encouraged to perpetuate human-on-human violence in which the player kills or otherwise causes serious physical or psychological harm to another human or an animal.”
According to a separate report, Chicago police officers responded to 218 carjackings in January alone. Current trends suggest that the city will face more than 2,600 carjackings by the end of the year.