Governor Says Game Over

By: Nichole Vrsansky
By: Nichole Vrsansky

Drive-by shootings, murders, prostitutes, these aren't police stories. These are the objects of some new video games that our kids may be playing.

These games are rated M for mature. But Governor Rod Blagojevich wants to go a step further to keep them out of our kid's hands.

With this control in hand, our kids can shoot and kill, but Governor Rod Blagojevich says game over.

"It's the same law that protects our kids from tobacco and pornography," says Blagojevich.

Speaking to a crowd of moms in Naperville, the governor announced his proposal to make selling or renting m or mature rated video games to kids a misdemeanor.

These types of games are most popular at Sharon Dippel's Video Store, but if you're not 18, you're not likely to score one.

"We turn them away. We say you're welcome to pick out something else, but we can't rent this to you," says Dippel.

That policy is already in place at most video rental stores, but, "If a parent has authorized a child to rent it, I don't know how we can say no," says Dippel.

"I think that's the choice of a parent," adds parent Toniesha Frison.

Frison sees no problem with her 12- and 13-year-old boys playing games like Grand Theft Auto, a game notorious for its violent nature.

"It's a game. I don't have a problem with them paying mature games as long as I know about it," says Frison.

"I agree it’s the parent’s responsibility to monitor their kids, but what about those who are not,” questions Rock Valley College Sociology Professor Jenny Kosinski.

Kosinski says research shows the impact these games have on kids isn't good. She doesn't know if Blagojevich’s plan is a good idea. She says it depends on where you think responsibility lies, with the government, the retailers, or the parents.

The governor's plan would still allow parents to buy or rent mature games for their kids if they choose. But a retailer who sells or rents to a minor without permission could be punished with up to a year in jail or a $5,000 fine.


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