New York Bans Another 2,000 Sex Offenders from Online Gaming

New York State, whose "Operation Game Over" earlier this year banned more than 3,500 registered sex offenders from services like Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, has booted another 2,100 from online gaming after bringing THQ, Funcom and NCSoft to the cause.

Eric T. Schneiderman, the state's attorney general, announced the bannings earlier this morning. They coincide with state law requiring convicted sex offenders to register all email addresses, screen names and other online personae with the state. The state then turns that information over to its Operation Game Over partners, who purge the convicted sex offenders from their rolls.

Many states have sex offender registries, with requirements covering email addresses and the like, but New York State says it is the only one working to have offenders removed from online gaming services. The initiative was inspired by this case, in which a 19-year-old met a 12-year-old boy over Xbox Live, arranged a meeting with the child, and then sexually abused him. The offender was sentenced earlier this year to six months in jail, making his lifetime permaban from online gaming a more lasting and potentially worse punishment.

In addition to THQ, NCSoft, Funcom, Microsoft and Sony, publishers such as Gaia Online, Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive Media Group and Warner Brothers are working with the state.