"Operation: Game Over" Targets Sex Offenders

A ground-breaking initiative has removed more than 3,500 registered sex offenders from online video game platforms. The plan is called "Operation: Game Over", and is a collaborative effort with support from Microsoft and Apple, among others. Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is spearheading this newest effort to protect children from online predators across New York State. 

"We must ensure online video game systems do not become a digital playground for dangerous predators. That means doing everything possible to block sex offenders from using gaming networks as a vehicle to prey on underage victims," said Schneiderman. 

New York State law requires convicted sex offenders to register all of their e-mail addresses and screen names with the state.  That legislation helps organizations to effectively purge potential predators from online networks.

"Operation: Game Over" is the first time the law has been applied towards online video gaming systems. The cooperating companies agreed to purge the accounts, after being approached by the Attorney General's office.

Most video game consoles, that have internet access, allow users to message other users under anonymous screen names. This current operation comes in response to sexual predators using voice and chat functions to lure underage victims throughout the country.

There are more than 33,000 registered sex offenders in New York State, according to the Division of Criminal Justice Services. Earlier this month, a 19-year-old Monroe County man pled guilty to sexual abuse charges in connection with a 10-year-old he met on Xbox LIVE.

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley praised Schneiderman's work in blocking predators from using online gaming technology to target children. Sony, Disney, and Warner Bros. have also joined the initiative to make the web a safer place for young people. 

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