"Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that more than 3,500 accounts of New York registered sex offenders have been purged from online video game platforms as part of 'Operation: Game Over,' a groundbreaking initiative with participation from Microsoft, Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive Media Group, Warner Brothers and Sony. The Attorney General’s database sweep is a first-of-its-kind effort to protect children from predators on video game networks in New York State."
It is notable that the only case mentioned in the Attorney General's press release is that of "Richard Kretovic, a 19-year-old man from Monroe County, [who] pled guilty to sexual abuse charges after meeting a 12-year-old boy on the popular online video game system Xbox LIVE." Mr. Kretovic was not a registered sex offender at the time of his crime, and this announced action would not have prevented his crime. Apparently, the Attorney General's office is unable to point to any incident in New York State where a registered sex offender victimized someone using a gaming network, or they would have mentioned it. I make it a point to stay on top of such things, and I have never heard of any such case.
The primary risk is not from offenders we know about but those we don't know about. In New York State, 95% of those arrested for sex crimes have no prior convictions for sex crimes and thus are not listed on any registry. Training workshops were held across New York State last week that were attended by hundreds of law enforcement officers, probation and parole officers, etc. Research presented there indicates that New York's sex offender management policies have not made our communities safer.
“Operation: Game Over” is made possible by New York's eSTOP law which requires registered sex offenders to report their e-mail addresses and other Internet identifiers. They are then excluded from Facebook and other networks. Of course, this also prevents them from posting the true facts about registered sex offenders and "Operation: Game Over" because many news and media outlets require Facebook accounts in order to post comments.
Who is playing the real games here?