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NY ousts sex offenders from online games 

New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. 2011 photo.
New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, in 2011.Courtesy of NY State Attorney General's office.

The online gaming accounts of more than 2,100 registered sex offenders in New York state have been purged from platforms in an effort to make playing online games safer for children.

This is the second initiative in Operation: Game Over, which marks the first time a list mandated by the state's Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators (e-STOP) has been applied to the world of online games .

In April, various game companies revoked the subscriptions of more than 3,800 customers convicted of sex crimes.

Under the law, sex offenders are required to register all their online identities with the state. A compiled list of those identities is then supplied to private Internet companies for them to cross reference with their own user database to remove accounts belonging to people convicted of a sex crime.

Microsoft, Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive, Warner Brothers and Sony all "have agreed to participate" in the attorney general's initiative.

“The Internet is the crime scene of the 21st century, and we must ensure that online video game platforms do not become a digital playground for dangerous predators," said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York. "That means doing everything possible to block sex offenders from using gaming systems as a vehicle to prey on underage victims.”

In the past, predators have used the chat and private messaging functions baked into the gameplay interface — functions that many parents aren't aware of — to meet children and sexually abuse them.

It's unclear in what manner the accounts have been deleted, if subscriptions have been truncated and, if they have, if customers will be issued refunds.

TechNewsDaily has reached out for comment from several game makers. We will update this story when they respond.

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