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State restricts sex offenders' online gaming

The difficulties of life as a registered sex offender are no secret today. The ability to find a job, stable living arrangements, and acceptance from the greater community one lives in can be especially difficult with the black cloud of "sex offender" status hanging over ones head.

Now, one state has taken the institutionalized restriction of sex offenders' freedoms even further, banning those who have received a "guilty" sex crime verdict from having an account on online video game networks and platforms. Although New York State enacted this specific law, similar legislation could soon be enacted either specifically in Michigan or even nationwide.

More than 2,100 registered sex offenders were booted from the video game networks earlier this month as part of an initiative that already shut down the revoked more than 3,800 subscriptions in April. Intended to make online gaming environments safer for children, the new push to keep sex offenders from playing was primarily based on concerns that private message and chat functions would be used to lure children into dangerous situations.

Numerous video game networks and companies have complied with the demands, including Microsoft, Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive, Warner Brothers, and Sony.

Another example of the limitations on life that a sex crime conviction can lead to, the New York regulations are part of a greater attempt by authorities to track the online activity and identities of sex offenders, hoping to limit if not fully prohibit their place in the interactive digital realm.

Beyond the payment of steep fines and the fulfillment of extended jail sentences, a sex crime conviction can impede countless parts of what was once simple, everyday life. Contacting a criminal defense attorney versed in sex crime law, however, can better the likelihood of lessened charges or an outright "not guilty verdict," making a return to normal, free life closer within reach.

Source: NBC News, "NY ousts sex offenders from online games," Ben Weitzenkorn, Dec. 20, 2012

  • At our Lansing law firm, we offer counsel and representation for those charged with sex crimes. Should you be facing charges, contact our office to begin building a strong defense.

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