To his credit, Illinois State representative Marcus Evans, Jr has an actual goal in mind: he’s not accusing video games of destroying the foundations of civilization — he’s accusing video games of being a cause of the recent rise of carjacking violence, and he thinks that the best way to stop people from hijacking real-life cars is to stop them from doing it digitally too.
The bill in question, House Bill 3531, would be an adjustment to an existing law that makes it illegal to sell violent video games to minors. This adjustment would make it so that it’s illegal to sell violent video games at all, and would broaden the definition of “violent” from just physical harm to physical and psychological harm.
Here he is describing it:
“The bill would prohibit the sale of some of these games that promote the activities that we’re suffering from in our communities.”
I’m not worried about this bill — if the sale of violent video games was ever in jeopardy, it was in 2005 during the Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association case. Since then, the occasional attempt to ban violent video games have routinely failed to gain traction, and I strongly suggest the same thing will happen with this one. So the question is — assuming Marcus Evans isn’t an idiot, what exactly is he actually planning here? Is this strawman argument trying to distract from something else? Is it just a show so his voters think he’s trying everything? Or is this some kind of weird double-ploy from video game lobbyists who want to maintain a reputation as a besieged underdog?
I dunno. And it’s always possible that Marcas Evans really is just not very smart. But that’s just not very satisfying, now is it?